Sufjan Stevens Debuts Video For “Sugar”

Sufjan Stevens has debuted a video for “Sugar,” the song off his forthcoming album The Ascension, out September 25, via Asthmatic Kitty.
Sufjan Stevens "Sugar"

Sufjan Stevens has released a new video for “Sugar.” The track is off his forthcoming release The Ascension, available September 25, via Asthmatic Kitty. The video for the song choreographed by acclaimed choreographer, MacArthur Fellow and Doris Duke Artist Award recipient Kyle Abraham and directed by Ezra Hurwitz. Filmed in Brooklyn, the video features noted dancers Raymond Pinto, Samantha Figgans, Celeste Mason and Walter Russell III portraying a family as their world dissolves around them.

“‘Sugar’ is ultimately about the desire for goodness and purity (and true sustenance),” says Sufjan. “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.”

“The way I approach choreography tends to blend elements of the everyday with moments of abstraction,” says Abraham. “I was compelled by the tempo and the tone of the song…especially when choreographing the duet material and solo material for Samantha Figgans and Raymond Pinto. This song and its undertones created a lot of really fun scenarios to play with choreographically.”

The Ascension is an indictment of a world crumbling around us—and a roadmap out of here. Sufjan says the foundations of the album are “a call for personal transformation and a refusal to play along with the systems around us.”

“My objective for this album was simple: Interrogate the world around you. Question anything that doesn’t hold water. Exterminate all bullshit. Be part of the solution or get out of the way. Keep it real. Keep it true. Keep it simple. Keep it moving.”

The result is a “lush, editorial pop album”—as Sufjan describes it—that finds us all at a “terrifying crossroad.”

Sufjan Stevens
The Ascension
Tracklisting

1. Make Me An Offer I Cannot Refuse (5:19)
2. Run Away With Me (4:07)
3. Video Game (4:16)
4. Lamentations (3:42)
5. Tell Me You Love Me (4:22)
6. Die Happy (5:47)
7. Ativan (6:32)
8. Ursa Major (3:43)
9. Landslide (5:04)
10. Gilgamesh (3:50)
11. Death Star (4:04)
12. Goodbye To All That (3:48)
13. Sugar (7:37)
14. The Ascension (5:56)
15. America (12:30)

The physical release date for The Ascension has been moved from September 25 to October 2 due to unforeseen COVID-19-related manufacturing and logistics delays. The Ascension will be released on all streaming and download platforms, as scheduled, on September 25. Pre-Order the album here