Sugar Parks is hitting us with her debut EP Ruminations as she takes on a range of topics. Swinging from indie rock to the darkness of noir pop, she tackles toxic relationships and social rejection. While using different styles to ruminate on different topics, her soulful vocals remain as the constant thread. Her honest tone also shines through as she connects with you whether you have a shared experience or not.
Each track has an introspective vibe and uses lyrical poetry to draw you in. This is a feature of Parks’ songwriting as she melds poetry with a sense of darkness and Mitch Parks’ guitar. While only 4 tracks long, the EP is a great introduction to everything she has to offer and will leave you wanting more.
The EP starts with the lead single ‘Strange World’ which is all about feeling like an outcast but deciding to be true to yourself anyway. It hits you with some bluesy tones from the first second and gets you swaying to the rhythm. The thumping drum gives way to light piano lines at times before these horns hit you from behind. It is a great start to the EP and you can hear why it is the lead single. The song captivates you from the start with this intense melody before you are overcome by the soulful vocals.
‘Crazy for Love’ draws you in with Parks’ vocals which have this sultry tone to them. They flow over you like velvet. This song has a more bluesy soul feeling to it than the opening track. The slower pace also adds this little something to the flow of the song. There are these swells in the vocals and melody that you are propelled across before you are drawn into the deeper moments.
‘Baby’s Got a Hold on Me’ has a bit of alternative pop lurking in the melody. There is also a noir pop vibe to the vocals on this track while hitting you with a different type of blues compared to the other songs. The depth of the melody acts as this dark force holding you in place while Parks’ vocals have this wonderful storytelling quality to them. There is something about this song that gets a hold of you and does not want to let go.
The EP ends with ‘Misunderstood’ which opens with a more folk vibe to the melody. The tone of this track takes on a folk-pop feeling to it as the vocals lose some of the bluesy feeling. Overall, this is a more stripped-back single that does not have as many layers as the rest of the EP. However, the driving melody does capture you while the vocals have this honesty to them that cuts through your chest straight to the heart.
Sugar Parks uses a bluesy tone mixed with pop, folk and rock influences to keep you hooked to her EP Ruminations. Each track has this edge to it that you can get lost in. There is also an amazing honesty to the poetry of the lyrics that meld with the layered melodies.