Sucré - A Minor Bird
Record Label: Red Velvet
Release Date: April 10th, 2012
More than most adults would like to admit, age has a terrible habit of dulling the simple enjoyments of youth.
There was a time where trains used to be, in my newborn opinion, the greatest invention to ever come from mankind. Trains could make the world rush by faster than cars ever could, yet no seat belts were needed. Worlds went by outside the windows, pulling up to stations harboring strangers and distant towns appearing out of nowhere. Trains were models of perfection not only for their speed, but because of their destination: the big city. The infinite and towering city, which never ended and never ceased to amaze. Trains were more than a mode of transportation; they were a celebration before the real party awaiting amongst the skyscrapers.
That is, until I got an internship in the city. I hardly even notice the train anymore as I scavenge bleary-eyed for an open single seat somewhere in the cars. After a while, I manage to settle for the seat next to the knitter spilling her goods into my seat or a passed out businessman. The seats are experts in putting kinks in necks, and, depending on where you sit, your nap could face the constant interruption of stall odors. But one thing still exists in the train that suggests something special: the hour it takes to get to work. Peace time. And, as soon as I realized it was possible to wear headphones on a train without getting mugged, peace time quickly became retitled as Sucré time. The band Sucré, which culls the talented voice of Eisley’s Stacy King with her husband, drummer Darren King of MuteMath, and solo artist/composer Jeremy Larson together, make cinematic indie pop music for the kid that lingers in the back of our minds as well as the adults we’re trying to become. Their debut, A Minor Bird, is centrally Stacy King’s soul bearing accounts of falling in love and adulthood, but one listen of single “When We Were Young” would suggest puppy love as the inspiration. With a twinkling introduction that bursts open with massive strings calling Florence & The Machine to mind, “Young” is a grand, summery song inspiring hope in getting old and in the band’s ability to make big sounding music go down so easy.
Beyond romping songs like second-single-ready “Stampede” and the pounding “Say Something” though, Bird is an album that tends to veer towards more slower songs than the Kings’ main projects are known for. Don’t be mistaken though; “slower” does not translate to “monotonous” in Sucré’s world. Opener “Hiding Out” pulls the curtain slowly on the album, but offers the entire band’s signatures in three and a half minutes: haunting choirs, Stacy King’s voice and lyricism at her best, large and purposeful drum work, and a string section that seals the deal on much of the album. “Light Up” is simplistic as can be, but is still fitting next to the album’s best, “Chemical Reaction”, which is easily the most grand, beautiful piece of music I’ve heard all year. King mixes stories throughout of lustful exploration after a breakup (“No Return”) next to laments of a missed life (“Endless Sleep”), but does so with the utmost confidence in her voice throughout. And by the time the album delicately closes with “The Cliff Waltz”, it’s apparent that Sucré doesn’t deserve any novelty titles like “side-project” or “indie supergroup”. A Minor Bird is a 39-minute lesson in making graceful, yet powerfully experimental pop music, showing off some of the best work the Kings and Larson have done in their entire careers.
For me, though, I’m just glad I found a record that reminds me to look out of the train windows once in a while and enjoy this strange flux between youth and adulthood.