>> After changing their name, the art-folk quartet Sugar Glider invoke nostalgia with melancholic and atmospheric acoustics on their full-length debut album.
Sugar Glider, previously known as the Sugar Gliders, have been progressing through the Rochester music scene for a couple years now. Led by Allison Lindsey and Roxy Elahi, whose swaying voices can bring you to tears, Sugar Glider originally started out as a duo. Lindsey and Elahi knew each other throughout high school, but didn’t connect again both personally and musically until college at RIT. The duo had fun playing cover songs at open-mic nights, but eventually the two decided to expand their band. Lindsey and Elahi had played a show with their friends Ryan Yarmel and Zach Kochan of Great Red at The Spirit Room. Soon after, Yarmel and Kochan joined the band, making Sugar Glider a full quartet. Their atmospheric folk instrumentals blend wonderfully with Lindsey’s and Elahi’s signature vocal harmony, making the band vibrant and stronger.
Consisting of both classic blues-folk covers and originals, Sugar Glider’s full-length debut album ‘Steal Your Heart’ is a local treat. The quartet recorded the album over the course of about three months at the South Wedge Mission by producer Ben Morey. The album is as pure as it is heart-wrenching.
The opening track “I Might” is led by Lindsey’s and Elahi’s spirited and empowering vocal harmony, which sets the tone for the rest of the album. The fingerpicking “Pulling Tongues” and “Spiders” are more upbeat, both with rhythm sections that make you want to dance around a fire. It also has more of an Americana feel to it. Lindsey’s and Elahi’s vocal harmony soon turn more intense and soulful on the essentials “When I Die” and “Jade Tree,” backed by their gloomy and floating acoustics. Their covers are also just as good as their own songs. Their cover of the classical Appalachian murder ballad “Down in the Willow Garden” is melodically soothing, whereas their shadowy cover of Lead Belly’s “In the Pines” (popularized by Nirvana) is haunting and unique. The album gets its name from the closing track “Witches.” This self-tilted track stands out more than the rest of the songs on the album due to its rough and heavy-folk composition. However, it’s Lindsey’s and Elahi’s ascending and sparkling vocal harmony that drives the piece, indulging in passionate storytelling.
In an interview with the Rochester City Newspaper earlier this past summer, Lindsey stated most of the songs on the new album are “a string of anecdotes and self-discovery.” With every track flowing evenly well into the next, Sugar Glider shines on their debut. <<