Sufjan Stevens has given us another new track from his new album. ‘Sugar’ arrives with a new music video, featuring mesmerising choreography.
The video is directed by Ezra Hurwitz and its choreography comes from MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham. Actors featured include Raymond Pinto, Samantha Figgins, Celeste Mason, and Walter Russell III. The video the perfect accompaniment for the ruminative and melancholic song.
‘Sugar’ continues with the considered and haunting electronica of previously-released tracks ‘America’ and ‘Video Games’, indicating a return to the style of his 2010 album The Age of Adz.
That was followed by 2015’s monumental Carrie & Lowell. Inspired by the death of his mother, Carrie, it was widely hailed as Stevens’ strongest work to date. Its sparse and stripped indie folk appears to have been abandoned, though, for more sonic experimentation.
The song comes with a powerful humanist message. “’Sugar’ is ultimately about the desire for goodness and purity (and true sustenance),” Sufjan Stevens said. “On the surface the song is just a string of clichés, but the message is imperative: now is the time to gather what is good and pure and valuable and make it your own, and share it with others.
“Feed your soul and speak new life into those around you. Give each other love, respect and sacrifice. Relinquish all the old habits, all the old ways of thinking and doing, all former practices—‘business as usual’—and bring new life to the world. This is our calling.”
It’s been five years since his last solo full-length but 2020 has been his busiest year in a long time. Stevens unveiled non-album B-side ‘My Rajneesh’, a song about Wild Wild Country subject Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh, alongside ‘America’. In March, he also released the record Aporia, a collaboration with his stepfather Lowell Brams.
The Ascension is scheduled for release this Friday, September 25th, via Asthmatic Kitty. Pre-order or pre-save your copy of it here.