It’s a Sign

Sugar Ponies is a self-described alt-folk/country/pop/rock band from the Bay Area consisting of band leaders Suzanne Kramer and Michael McGovern, as well as a fine crew of backing players. Most of the pleasing original songs on It’s A Sign are studies of love’s triumphs and love’s laments as delivered by Kramer and her vulnerable, caramel-smooth vocals. Most memorable is “Hey Cowboy,” a sassy, super catchy, dance-pop sing-along. The album also includes the quiet but hard-hitting, “Give This Girl a Break,” in which a woman who is obviously in personal pain faces facts and tells her partner to turn and walk out the door because “I don’t want to be your second choice.” Another standout is the tender, mid-tempo pop-rocker, “Around You,” a seductively sad plea for forgiveness in which Kramer promises, “I’ll show what I can do and show you how I love you.” Produced by Ed Stasium (Talking Heads, The Smithereens, etc.), the disc kicks off with a raucous version of Dylan’s “You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine).”