IAN SWEET Shares Single, “Smoking Again”

IAN SWEET (aka Jilian Medford) presents her new single, “Smoking Again,” from her forthcoming album, SUCKER (Polyvinyl), out November 3rd, 2023. The surging and anthemic “Smoking Again” is, in Medford’s own words, “pretty dramatic,” but draws on all-too-relatable themes: “I often put myself in situations that I know won’t be beneficial to me, just to get a rise out of myself. Almost like setting up obstacles just to see if I could overcome them.”

Perfectly merging Medford’s pop sensibilities with the widescreen indie rock that she first made her name on, SUCKER is both sumptuous and fully realized. Medford’s musical voice has only become more unique amidst an ever-growing field, and SUCKER is proof positive that — even with a considerable discography in her arsenal — Medford is just getting started. It follows Medford’s 2021 breakthrough and Polyvinyl debut, Show Me How You Disappear, which “was written during a really difficult period of my life after reckoning with a mental health crisis,” she explains. “I survived that very moment in my life through writing that record, and the extreme urgency to heal is reflected in the songwriting. With SUCKER, I felt more capable to take my time and experiment without being totally afraid of the outcome. It wasn’t life or death — it was just life, and I was lucky to be living it.”

Work on SUCKER began in the fall of 2022; Medford took a cross-country road trip from her L.A. home to an artist residency at The Outlier Inn, which included 24-hour studio access to create in an unfettered fashion. “I went there not knowing exactly what I wanted to do or make, but I knew I wanted to explore and get out of my comfort zone. I forced myself to make things on the spot, in the moment and not overthink it too much.” Medford brought these demos to life with co-producers Alex Craig (Binki, Claud) and Isaac Eiger of Strange Ranger, along with mixing engineer Al Carlson (St. Vincent, Jessica Pratt), all of whom helped shape SUCKER into its current form —a record that reconciles Medford’s beginnings with where she’s landed at this current moment.  “I revisited the reasons why I started playing music to begin with,” she explains. “I wanted to get more personal and showcase a more confident side musically and lyrically.”