Sufjan Stevens has shared a video for new single “Sugar” ahead of the release of his forthcoming LP The Ascension next week.
The track received a beautiful visual treatment centering on a family in their home, their interpretive dancing an arresting expression of domestic turmoil. “Don’t make me wait / Don’t make me wait too long / Don’t make sing the sad song / Come on baby gimme some sugar,” Stevens sings over a stormy, synth-filled soundscape.
“‘Sugar’ is ultimately about the desire for goodness and purity (and true sustenance),” Stevens explained in a statement. “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.”
“Sugar” is the third song to be released from The Ascension, following “America” and “Video Game,” which received a visual treatment starring Jalaiah Harmon, the creator of the viral TikTok dance known as the Renegade.
The Ascension, which is Stevens’ eighth studio album, comes over five years since the singer released his previous solo album Carrie & Lowell. In 2017, Stevens worked on the soundtrack for the Luca Guadagnino film Call Me By Your Name and collaborated with Nico Muhly, The National’s Bryce Dessner and James McAlister on the solar system-inspired LP Planetarium. After that, Stevens worked on The Decalogue soundtrack with Timo Andres last year and more recently Aporia with Lowell Brams.
The Ascension will be released on September 25 via Asthmatic Kitty. Watch the video for “Sugar” here: