Sufjan Stevens Yearns For Purity On The Climactic ‘Sugar’

Sufjan Stevens has offered multiple previews of his upcoming album The Ascension, and a lot of them have been lengthier than your average song. Now he’s back at it again with “Sugar,” a new seven-minute epic.

The single begins with a few minutes of instrumental melancholic electronica before Stevens sings, “Come on baby, cut me some slack / Now that it’s a quarter to 10 / Come on baby, give me some sugar.” The video features a shortened version of the track, and it shows a family dealing with a home in disarray.

Stevens says of the track:

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

Stevens also previously said of the album as a whole, “My objective for this album was simple: Interrogate the world around you. Question anything that doesn’t hold water. Exterminate all bullsh*t. Be part of the solution or get out of the way. Keep it real. Keep it true. Keep it simple. Keep it moving.”

Watch the “Sugar” video above, and listen to the full-length song below.

The Ascension is out 9/25 via Asthmatic Kitty Records. Pre-order it here.