Sufjan Stevens has steadily shared songs from The Ascension, his first new solo album in five years.
So far, he’s shared a pair of lengthy tunes from that album with the 12-minute “America” and “Video Game” (in which the video featured viral TikTok dancer Jalaiah Harmon) and a B-side with “My Rajneesh.”
Now, another new song, “Sugar,” has arrived. A video accompanying the release showcases a message of letting go of things that are bad and to give what’s good to the people you care about it — even with the imagery that seems to indicate otherwise.
“‘Sugar’ is ultimately about the desire for goodness and purity (and true sustenance),” Stevens said 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.”
The video is directed by Ezra Hurwitz, choreographed by Kyle Abraham, and starring Samantha Figgins, Raymond Pinto, Walter Russell III and Celeste Mason.
Watch the video below.
The Ascension is out Sept. 25 on Asthmatic Kitty.