After writing and recording its first album in piecemeal fashion over two years, Brooklyn indie-rock band Suckers had a more definite idea about how to approach the follow-up. In fact, “Candy Salad,” out Tuesday on Frenchkiss, was positively premeditated.
“On this one, we wrote everything sort of at the same time period with the express purpose of putting them on an album together,” guitarist/keyboardist and singer Austin Fisher says by phone. “With our first record, we didn’t even know if we were going to make a record.”
The first album, 2010’s “Wild Smile,” earned Suckers buzz that year at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, drew blog love for the single “It Gets Your Body Movin’” and put Suckers on the road with other acclaimed indie bands like Menomena and Local Natives.
For “Candy Salad,” the trio of Connecticut natives spent a chunk of last year writing songs as a quartet, before the drummer left the band. The tunes are catchy and vivid, full of layered vocals, big guitars and gauzy keyboard textures.
“We’ve always been very pop-oriented, we’re big on hooks,” says singer and guitarist Quinn Walker, Fisher’s cousin. “This album has more of a verse-chorus base, as opposed to earlier stuff that was more of a verse the whole time.”
Although Fisher and Walker played music together growing up in Branford, they didn’t form Suckers until after they had moved to New York, where they met a bassis, keyboardist and Madison native who goes by Pan.
“We weren’t really organized about it,” Fisher says. “We were doing it for fun, and we ended up playing out and we got a lot of encouragement from people.”
The musicians write songs together, usually by jamming them out in a room — “It’s like that thing with chimpanzees on a typewriter,” Fisher jokes. This time, the band moved away from the electronic sounds more prevalent on Suckers’ first album, drawing more on the influence of psychedelic rock, Motown and doo-wop.
Although Fisher says people have told him the new album sounds “dramatically different,” “Candy Salad” doesn’t strike the band as a radical departure. If anything, the musicians say, it sounds more mature.
“It’s a little more evened out,” Pan says. “We’re a little more calm now. We all have steady girlfriends.”