“Come on / come at me,” sings Stacy Dupree-King on “Young and Free” from her latest EP as Sucré. Loner, released last month via Red Velvet Records, is the follow-up to her debut LP, A Minor Bird (2012). Dupree-King, hailing from Tyler, Texas, and best known as one-fifth of the indie rock group Eisley, embraces a new, bubbly synthpop sound atop dreamy orchestral arrangements. Although Loner, clocking in at fifteen minutes exactly, barely lasts long enough to create a strong mood, Dupree-King’s playful attitude builds an ethos of a spirited young woman.
Sucré’s confident attitude shines first on the single “Young and Free,” which mixes uplifting orchestral atmospheres with peppy synth for a mood that sounds like a cross between CHVRCHES and Florence + the Machine. Dupree-King demonstrates her pop potential, singing, “I don’t need nobody / To tell me who to be / Ready to sting / I am young, free,” a catchy phrase in defense of individuality.
A second highlight is the EP’s last song, “Line of Fire,” a song that possesses the most empowering attitude on Loner. Mixing powerful low brass, marching band style percussion, and Dupree-King’s Texas swagger, the song prescribes a healthy dose of defiance. The jam in the latter half of the song sees Dupree-King, her husband (and producer) Darren King, and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Larson at the top of their game. Dupree-King fiercely belts her lyrics, creating a euphoria without even focusing on the words.
While the highlights are certainly worth repeat listening, Loner often feels like it lacks nuance. The beats on the title track are intriguing, but at times they distract from the rest of the sound rather than blending cohesively. The lack of cohesion is a problem for the EP overall. “Crazy” is a very whimsical piano ballad in which Dupree-King tells an unknown antagonist to “watch [her] burn down everything / and run away laughing,” but the medieval sound of the song stops it from standing out as much as it could. Sonically, Sucré can’t quite decide whether they are dreamy baroque pop or a more upbeat brand of synthpop, but Sucré’s own mix of the two isn’t cohesive enough to translate into a convincing musical confidence.
Overall, the EP does a great job of showing that Sucré has potential. Sonically, Loner is sometimes too whimsical in its mixing of different elements, and first-time listeners may have trouble connecting with songs that don’t have a clear style. However, this is not to say that they aren’t on the way to something exciting, perhaps with a more accessible sound with a full length album.
The name Sucré, French for sugar, has been self-fulfilling for Dupree-King’s solo project, and this characteristic continues with Loner. As we could have garnered from her career in Eisley, Dupree-King’s voice making anything she appears on worth at least a listen. Loner is just that — sweet.
Article by Keaton Peters