SUNFLOWER BEAN DREAM – JULIA CUMMING

Julia Cumming photographed by Hedi Slimane for YSL SS'15
Julia Cumming photographed by Hedi Slimane for YSL SS’15. Image courtesy of YSL.

The last couple of years have brought a lot of growth to the new up and coming rock-n-roll trio, Sunflower Bean, but has been even more generous to it’s lead girl, Julia Cumming. This twenty-year-old alternative babe not only sings and plays bass for the band but has also earned the title as Yves Saint Laurent’s latest muse. You might be wondering how that can all happen in a matter of a year or so and to such a young female at that? Or who this girl even is? Well Julia never asked for this. It just happened and what got her to where she is now is no puzzle. Ultimately you could say it was the internet, but it was also through the help of fronting a band and her effortless hard-rock beauty.

SunFlowerBean_BenCope
Sunflower Bean photographed by Ben Cope. Image Courtesy of @Sunflowerbean Facebook.

Standing at 5’11 and already residing in the fashion capital of the world, New York City, freshly out of the Performing Arts School of NY for classical singing and on the verge of enrolling into a conservatory college is exactly when she caught the eye of a Saint Laurent casting director. The casting director discovered her online through the Sunflower Bean name. Three weeks later Ms. Cumming is walking their runway show in Paris and her first fashion show ever. “As with everything in the fashion world, it happened very quickly and it seemed really insane,” she told New York Times. “It was really special and super surreal.” Cumming later had three more shows for Saint Laurent.

 Despite being the only female in the band and lead vocalist it doesn’t affect the chemistry of the rest of the band. There’s a sense of balance when you witness the band do their magic. Nick Kivlen, is usually finger dancing with the guitar, and occasionally lends his vocals to certain tracks, while Jacob Faber is the spine of the crew providing background vocals and electric drum solos all behind the kit.

The cover of Sunflower Bean's latest album, 'Human Ceremony.' Photograph by Ruby Maxwell, courtesy of @Sunflowerbean Facebook.
The cover of Sunflower Bean’s latest album, ‘Human Ceremony.’ Photograph by Ruby Maxwell, courtesy of @Sunflowerbean Facebook.

Sunflower Bean came to fruition the summer after they graduated in 2013. They weren’t aware of anyone else in high school that loved rock-n-roll as much as each other. Soon after they began playing gigs all over NYC. The band released Show Me Your Seven Secrets, in January of that year. It’s a seamless ode to classic rock gods and reflects that of the sounds of Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and The Who, to Ms.Cumming and her comrades lyrics are a personal subject. They touch base with their current status as ‘rockin-rollers’ as far as growing up, relationships with their families, and living the unconventional lifestyle. Since then the band has performed at South by Southwest and released their first full length debut album, Human Ceremony, back in February. The new album still sticks to it’s rock-n-roll roots but this time more melodic and instrumental. They are currently touring with one of their musical heroes, DIIV. Rolling Stone has even deemed them “NYC’s Coolest Young Band.” Of her early influencers, Cumming confessed to the New York Times:

     “When I was really a little kid, my parents had a VHS tape called ‘Glam Rock’. It was about 15 songs of Gary Glitter, T.Rex and Alice Copper, and I watched it everyday till it broke. I was in a Gary Glitter cover band in high school called Terry Tinsel.”

Cumming and her band, Sunflower Bean, have become living proof to the saying that anyone can blossom into anything they dream of, as long as you have the constant passion and perfect mix of friends to rock out with.

Catch Cumming performing with her band, Sunflower Bean, as well as B Boys and the Lemon Twigs at Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 7th.

-Natalia Donoso for The Untitled Magazine

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