Rosie Tucker is part of the crop of American singer-songwriters who have revamped folk music with a fresh emo edge. After sharing stages with artists such as Phoebe Bridgers and Soccer Mommy, they are back with third album Sucker Supreme.
‘Barbara Ann’ sets the tone, talking about current vegan staples corn and soybeans. Describing the track, Tucker describes how they took inspiration from their grandmother: “The song is about the Midwest, how corn and soy monoculture relate both to wider industrial food systems and to farmers trying to make a living. It’s about my grandmother, a working-class woman who spent every second working.”
Sucker Supreme sets out to take on Tucker’s folk inspirations and electrify them. ‘Airport’, for instance, leans heavily on disconcerting guitar melodies, while ‘Brand New Beast’ carries a 90s garage rock vibe and is reminiscent of Mitski. ‘Different Animals’ is an embodiment for the entire album’s ability to straddle happy and sad, melancholy and reflective at the start before crashing into full crescendo. This all comes together to tap into the same vein that helped the likes of Snail Mail and American Football find their home in the genre.
Still, wary of becoming pigeonholed experimental musical interludes are littered through the album, ‘Clinic Poem,’ ‘Creature of Slime,’ showing Tuckers musical range. Similarly, ‘Arrow,’ a cover a Jeffrey Lewis song, brings a change in tone with its a trippy guitar instrumentation.
‘Habanero’ muses about flirting and idealisation, “Wouldn’t we be perfect together if we wanted exactly the same thing,” sings Tucker. Elaborating on the track, they explain, “I’ve spent a lot of time refusing to come to terms with the fact that I am stuck with myself, being the person, I am all the time.” On ‘Ambrosia,’ they explore the feelings of heartache and longing through the lens of making a dessert. “Nothing is simple just cause you wish that it is,” Tucker sings delicately. On Sucker Supreme even the most mundane imagery has a deeper meaning.
While the music has expanded, the tracks still carry the same clever lyricism. Tucker finds inspiration in the mundane and links it to wider themes of coming of age and self-identity. ‘Trim’ is a lo-fi acoustic track with a simplistic yet delicate melody. It’s here that Tucker comes closest to their roots while singing about shaving their legs. On ‘For Sale: Ford Pinto’ Tucker mixes wry observations with their deeper feelings of the world, “Time is a trash compactor. I’m feeling pressed but at least you’re here with me and we’ve got sexual tension.”
Sucker Supreme is an album of duality. Heart-breaking and yet still confident, clever but also melancholy, its strength ultimately lies in the ability to fuse together multiple ideas and styles. Listeners are privy to a full range of emotion without ever once feeling that the record feel over-cluttered.
Words by Brenna Cooper.
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