Sugar Ponies are fierce do-it-yourselfers and a beloved staple of the indie music scene in San Francisco, who have even gone so far as to create a doozy of a genre classification for themselves: “altPOPcountryFolkROCK.” But hey, even hot up-and-comers need to enlist some help every once in a while. Enter Grammy-winning producer Ed Stasium, who has worked with the Ramones and the Talking Heads to name just a couple of mega-talents. Together with Stasium, Suzanne Kramer and guitarist Michael McGovern, who form the backbone of the band, collaborated on the recently released It’s A Sign, the Ponies’ sophomore full length. But the duo credits no less than ten other musicians on the album as well, including Stasium himself, who contributed his talents on a bevy of instruments, from blues harp to Wurlitzer to Ebow guitar.
The richness of instrumentation and gentle, winsome honesty of Kramer’s voice catapults the heartbreaking ballad, “Give This Girl A Break,” into the spotlight. The song starts simply, with just a guitar and Kramer’s vocals, but builds to encompass added layers, most notably the elegant underscoring of Rebecca Roudman’s cello. “Give This Girl A Break” touches on a “simple” but tough to accept truth of life, Kramer summing up the dilemma of the piece with her plaintive lyrics: “My problem’s very simple. If you listen you’ll agree. It’s just that I love you more than you love me.”
Listen to “Give This Girl A Break” below, and watch the music video here.