LA-based singer-songwriter Rosie Tucker (they/them) is a dynamic creative force. Today, they’ve announced their third album Sucker Supreme out April 30, their first with Epitaph Records. The new collection is a coming of age album aching with self-discovery, self-definition, and self-redefinition. Nowhere is this self-exploration more poignant than on their lead single “Habanero,” a song about waiting for a transformation that isn’t coming.
“The first two verses of ‘Habanero’ are about flirting, which is an important distraction from both the problems of the self and the issue of mortality,” says Tucker. “Desire is not the same thing as a sense of self, but it’ll work as an added sugar corn syrup kind of substitute. The third verse pulls from an early memory of a stream dense with tadpoles, watching them wriggle around my fingers in the water. I was obsessed – obsessed – with amphibians in general, and frogs in particular. I loved that they couldn’t be confined to one environment. I loved that they grow up by way of shape-shifting.” They continue, “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. I have gotten adequate at living while impatiently waiting for the smarter, kinder, better looking version of myself to come along, lead me out back, and put me out of my misery.”
On this album, Rosie’s openhearted, sing-song alto melodies are king; wry, detailed lyricism is queen; and noise is the old man with the long beard who seems like he came from nowhere. As with all things Rosie Tucker, this album is not easily slotted into a binary like happy or sad. In the world of Sucker Supreme, concepts like male or female, married or divorced, destruction or salvation, are not two opposite sides of the same coin, they are all connected points on the same sphere.
Rosie Tucker exploded into the musical zeitgeist with the critically acclaimed 2019 album Never Not Never Not Never Not, sharing stages with kindred spirits Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy, Vagabon, and Remo Drive. Sucker Supreme is just the right follow-up: still playfully observed, still sneakily political, still indebted to folk singers of the past – but also much, much bigger, brighter, louder, and noisier than anything Tucker has dared before. It delivers mightily on an ambitious M.O.: to be relentlessly catchy and muscular and noisy but also beautiful; be achingly sad and searching, but never too far away from funny, either; and to spotlight Tucker’s empathetic, yearning vocals on top of it all.