Sunflower Selection Ep. 2: Build your own boy band


“Iridescence” — courtesy art

In honor of the all-American boy band Brockhampton’s recent release “iridescence,” we at The Sunflower are compiling our dream boy bands for our recent playlist. Here’s the link to the playlist on Spotify.

John’s boy band: SadBoyz II Men (George Clanton, RiPSqUaD, Post Malone, Lil Ugly Mane, Earl Sweatshirt)

We’re at a wonderful time in musical history. While there’s drama over musicians making/not making money due to streaming practices, the availability of resources means more people are making and distributing music than ever before.

Every genre is being stretched to its limits. What’s incredible is that, while musicians move closer to the edges of their genre, they can create crossover music that acts as a gateway from the familiar to the unfamiliar.

With this in mind, I’ve assembled a boy band from musicians working across a synthpop-to-abstract-hip-hop spectrum.

Vaporwave-gone-synthpop extraordinaire George Clanton works with a highly textured, yet extremely catchy approach to pop music that compliments everyone else in the group. The gritty depth of his sound compliments the darker, lyrically inclined work of Lil Ugly Mane and Earl Sweatshirt.

On the other hand, his melodies and pop inclinations fit with Post Malone’s excellent ear for pop songwriting and RipSquad’s hyper-melodic approach to beat production. The resulting group is primed to create richly experimental pop music that’s as likely to challenge a listener as it is to hook them.

Ryan’s boy band: Industry Plant (Tyler, the Creator; Kevin Parker; Kevin Abstract; Childish Gambino; SZA)

Tyler, the Creator is a creative genius. He excels behind the production boards, as shown in 2015’s jazz-pop-fusion “2Seater.” He can write, rap and produce mesmerizing arrangements all at once.

He’s already shown his versatility at collaborating with large groups as the leader of Odd Future, and he’s so sporadic that you can never know what he’s about to do next. Joining a boy band would be the right move.

Assisting Tyler with production would be Kevin Parker. Front man to the psych-rock band Tame Impala, Parker could help tie each artist’s distinct sounds together as he did with the production on Melody’s Echo Chambers’ “I Will Follow You.”

Kevin Abstract has already created the self-proclaimed “best boy band since One Direction” with Brockhampton. I want to see him create one with a collection of his idols. He best showcases his pop star ambitions with “Tattoo” from his solo album, “American Boyfriend.”

Actor, writer, and rapper Childish Gambino wears his talents on his sleeve but his next move should be to embrace his sidelined career as a King of Pop, which he best flaunted on 2014’s “Pop Thieves (Make it Go Right).”

What would a modern boy band be without a wildcard pick? I’d recruit SZA to even out the band’s unconventional masculine energy. As the R&B songstress’s 2013 cut “Julia” proves, she’s been holding it down and delivering beautiful vocals amidst her all-male TDE cohorts since her career began.

Mariah’s boy band: Boibod Band (Camp Cope, Noname, Cherry Glazerr, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Cranberries)

This girl group wouldn’t be known for their synchronized dance moves or love songs, but for their fierce subversion of what is traditionally feminine.

Camp Cope and Cherry Glazzer bring a modern rock/alternative sound that leaves traditional rock anthems in the past.

Hurray For the Riff Raff doesn’t feel like an obvious choice within this group because of her folk, borderline bluegrass, work, but her cultural commentary, especially in the song “The Body Electric,” would add an important message.

Noname should be remembered not solely for her collaborations with Chance the Rapper, but also with her thought-provoking, original lyricism.

This girl group is rounded out with 90s rock legends, The Cranberries. Without Dolores O’Riordan, we wouldn’t have the upswing in female-fronted bands that we do today. So, here it is: Boibod Band the Boiband.

Pamela’s boy band: “waterpolo” (Declan McKenna, Khalid, BØRNS, Daniel Armbruster, Danny Miller)

There are five character archetypes that every boy band needs to fulfill in order to be successful: a cutie, a brooding baddie, a rebel, a songbird, and a heartbroken hunk.

Declan McKenna is adorable. His young and bouncy tunes make him perfect for the role of the token cutie.

Khalid is the sensitive one — the heartbroken hunk. His wishful woes will make any fan melt at his feet, desperate to fix his broken heart.

BØRNS is the superstar songbird of the group. He instantly captures the attention and adoration of anyone who stands witness to his ethereal falsetto.

Daniel Armbruster of Joywave is dark and mysterious. He is the necessary brooding boy who clearly contrasts against the more preppy members of the group.

Mix in the sultry vocals and lyrics of rebel Danny Miller, lead singer of Lewis Del Mar, and this boy band is complete.

After some thought, I’ve decided to name this creation of mine “waterpolo” because you know they would keep heartbeats racing and fans wet.