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Sufjan Stevens Articles and Media. Sufjan Stevens, onstage during the Academy Awards on March 4, 2018 in Los Angeles. That's funny, sure, but it also captures something unique about the power of Stevens' music, which at its best is able to depict a quality of devotion so pure and overwhelming that it easily transcends the arbitrary divisions we create between certain forms of love. Best Albums. Sufjan Stevens has announced a new solo album, The Ascension, his first since 2015’s Carrie and Lowell.The LP is due out September 25th and follows on … Ever a champion of outsider artists, Stevens' work has never quite felt in step with the times, which I mean as a compliment; he has never reminded me of any contemporary songwriter so much as he does the brilliant, tragic 1970s folk musician Judee Sill, who sang about Jesus in the same breath as the astral plane and saw God equally in Bach, drugs and outer space. The dulcet, ASMR tones of Stevens' voice, though, made those mechanically familiar words — gleaming, ramparts, o'er — sound newly strange. Sufjan Stevens has come to be one of the quintessential voices in contemporary indie rock, but it’s not a title he earned overnight. intermingled with songs about cancer, laborers' plights and, most infamously, a jarringly empathic reflection on the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, Jr. "I felt like all of the information I had gleaned was really optimistic," he said at the time, of his extensive Illinois research. Sufjan Stevens has returned with his new album The Ascension out via his own label Asthmatic Kitty. tw. Seven Swans, though, doubled down. Find Sufjan Stevens discography, albums and singles on AllMusic The point is how easy it is for some listeners to hear the divine in any of his proclamations. It’s his first full-length offering in five years following 2015’s Carrie & Lowel. Like much of that record, the song is actually about his mother's 2012 death from stomach cancer: "It was night when you died, my firefly," he sings in a lilt that showcases his easy gift for exquisite melody. Relinquish all the old habits, all the old ways of thinking and doing, all former practices — “business as usual” — and bring new life to the world. Sufjan Stevens (/ ˈ s uː f j ɑː n / SOOF-yahn; born July 1, 1975) is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.He has released eight solo studio albums and multiple collaborative albums with other artists. ", The song on Carrie & Lowell that has most frequently ruined my eye makeup also disguises its intentions with a benignly American title: "Fourth of July." “The Ascension,” the new album by Sufjan Stevens, sounds gigantic. Far from the reverent, vampy and vocally pyrotechnic renditions that ritualistically precede American sporting events, Stevens' version was instead muted and ominous. Gilgamesh 11. If you enjoy our content, please add us to your adblocker's whitelist. ", But with The Ascension, 45-year-old Stevens — defiantly — is ready to preach. Sufjan Stevens has given America two great, meticulous concept albums: Michigan, his breakout 2003 ode to his birth state, and his 2005 epic Illinois, which Metacritic calculates to be the best-reviewed album of that year. The project spans an ambitious 15 songs and 80 minutes of runtime featuring tracks upwards of seven to 12 minutes in length full of experimental song structure while still managing to drift into pop territory. . Pitchfork's 8.1 review noted that the album succeeded "because Sufjan rarely steps foot in the excess of pedantic preaching," while the AV Club concurred that the songs, thankfully, felt "more exploratory than preachy. Tell Me You Love Me 6. Since his latest album, 2015’s Carrie & Lowell, he … And while plenty of fans still clamor for 48 more offerings, a decade and a half after Illinois it now feels like time to accept that Stevens will never get around to finishing (or perhaps even revisiting) the so-called Fifty States Project. Let’s focus on love. Sufjan Stevens performs at the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco, 2016. Death Star 12. Since Trump's election, Stevens has occasionally posted what one writer called "mini Tumblr sermons," the most explicit statements of faith he's ever made publicly. His new single "America" is out July 3rd. Though only nine words, it's a remarkably spacious lyric, evocative enough to apply to a whole spectrum of experiences, from personal heartache to global, ecological collapse. Sufjan Stevens has kept busy in recent years, but it hasn’t always been with solo albums. Throughout the rest of the song, mother and son trade a series of pet names, as if they are constantly trying and inevitably failing to invent new ways to describe the shape-shifting complexity of their love: "my little dove," "my little hawk," "my little Versailles," "my dragonfly. ", Between the two towering state albums, in 2004, Stevens released his first deviation from the project, the sparse, gorgeous Seven Swans. Die Happy 7. Thank you Luca! Sufjan Stevens' New Album 'The Ascension': Fifty States Of Grey On his new album, The Ascension, Stevens beautifully considers love, doom … Ativan 8. Dazzling in its desolation, Sufjan’s new album The Ascension is a masterpiece to tide us over while we wait on his unfulfilled promise of an album for each of America’s fifty states. Stevens has always had a ringleader's flair for spectacle, which set him apart from countless other (and less talented) sad-voiced men with banjos and acoustic guitars: He's performed in swan's wings, a University of Illinois cheerleader costume, and well, whatever's going on here. Discover. ", For all of the new album's doom-saying, love is perhaps the most frequently recurring theme on The Ascension; "I'll show you rapture, a new horizon," Stevens beckons on the glistening, glacial "Run Away With Me," "Follow me to life and love within." The song reminds me of that desperate opening line of Allen Ginsberg's 1956 poem "America," if only because just about everything does these days: America I've given you all and now I'm nothing. It speaks to a convergence of crises: romantic, political, spiritual, existential. ", If the assorted singles he has released in the past five years — a crowd-pleasing, surprisingly stirring ode to Tonya Harding; a pair of tender ballads he wrote for the film Call Me By Your Name, one of which earned him an Oscar nomination — did not exactly foretell this prickly change in tone, his blog certainly did. “‘Sugar’ is ultimately about the desire for goodness and purity (and true sustenance),” Stevens said in a statement. "Live in America with a pair of Payless shoes," he sang on Michigan's quietly devastating "The Upper Peninsula." The Ascension by Sufjan Stevens, released 25 September 2020 1. God is universal, nameless, faceless, and with no allegiance to anything other than love. Sufjan Stevens is about to release his new album The Ascension, out September 25th via Asthmatic Kitty, and he’s shared a brand-new song and video from the album… Sufjan Stevens hasn’t dropped an album since Carrie & Lowell in 2015. Sufjan Stevens announced a new album, 'The Ascension,' will arrive in September, with a new single dropping on Friday. America isn't the easiest thing to feel affection for these days, with its heated divisions, systemic injustices and inhumane institutions. Landslide 10. Maybe this flawed country never deserved 48 more albums. "Don't do to me what you did to America," Stevens repeats over a dark synth-scape that smolders like a brushfire. CD and vinyl include a 16-page booklet of original drawings by Sufjan Stevens. This is our calling.”. To quote another phrase that's become as rote as the "Star-Spangled Banner," and which Stevens' music asks us to interrogate anew: Love is love. Towards the end, in the place where another kind of singer might garner applause for showily nailing that high note, Stevens instead inserted a new verse that he had written himself: And the flag marked with bloodThe blood of our handsAnd our hands marked with deathWith the blood of a manAnd a man on the crossAnd the cross on our heartsHas it done nothing moreThan to drive us apart? Sufjan Stevens will release a new album entitled The Ascension on September 25 through Asthmatic Kitty Records.The album’s lead single, the 12-minute closing track “America,” is … How Sufjan Stevens made an upbeat album about the 'crisis of humanity' Sufjan Stevens' The Ascension , his first solo record in five years, … The outro “America”, released on July 4, is full of biblical allusions and fear of an unavoidable apocalypse. Each snack brand offers its own twist on the tempting taste. “Don’t do to me what you did to America,” he repeats over and over again. “On the surface the song is just a string of clichés, but the message is imperative: now is the time to gather what is good and pure and valuable and make it your own, and share it with others. Karl Walter/Getty Images But there's a mature moodiness and an unflinching introspection here that also feels informed by the aftermath of Carrie & Lowell. It is still difficult for many people to shake the image that Stevens presented early in his career — that of a peppy, National-Park-sanctioned tour guide racking up state facts with the wholesome, crafty zeal of an overachieving Boy Scout. HYPEBEAST® is a registered trademark of Hypebeast Hong Kong Ltd. Sufjan Stevens Debuts First Album in Five Years With 'The Ascension', Sufjan Stevens Announces First Solo Studio Album in Five Years, 'The Ascension', Sufjan Stevens Offers Electronic Cut "Sugar", Sufjan Stevens Tags "Renegade" Choreographer for Gentle "Video Game" Visual, Apple's iPhone 12 Outsold Samsung for the First Time in Five Years, Oreo Cookies and Ritz Crackers Arrive in New Salted Caramel Flavor, Bristol Punk Band IDLES Delivers Third Studio Album 'Ultra Mono', Tyler, The Creator Urges His Followers to Vote in 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, MM6 Maison Margiela SS21 Offers Inclusive Essentials for All, Yohji Yamamoto Teases Lamborghini Collaboration, Netflix May Raise Its Subscription Prices Soon. ... Sufjan Stevens shares new track "Video Game" Aug 13, 2020 ... nme.com. We charge advertisers instead of our readers. God is love, period. Featuring outrage at injustice and a whole lot of energy. Coronavirus has prompted yet another piece of entertainment to hit streaming early, only instead of a thriller or a Disney flick, it’s a new Sufjan Stevens album. The Ascension 15. Stevens' music delivers the jolt of encountering this life force in its raw, factory-unprocessed form and realizing there is not all that much difference between its seemingly competing varieties. Photograph: FilmMagic Social media has exacerbated “celebrity … Stevens, spectacularly performing on Oct. 9, 2006 in Los Angeles. My friend Stephen Halker also designed a “Tell Me You Love Me” T-shirt for Valentine’s Day. Sufjan Stevens has announced a new album. In 2012, Sufjan Stevens released a cover of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Make Me An Offer I Cannot Refuse 2. Stevens released this disquieting cover on a day for which plenty of people are currently nostalgic: Nov. 6, 2012, the date of Barack Obama's reelection. All Rights Reserved. Sufjan Stevens. Privacy Policy. Feed your soul and speak new life into those around you. In more music updates, Kanye West teased a new track featuring a sample of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo-Wop (That Thing)” with “BELIEVE WHAT I SAY.”. Sufjan Stevens has announced a new album, The Ascension, out September 25. His anthem ends with a haunting, dissonant chord, held for a few extra measures. Several songs on Michigan had addressed God and Christianity, but Stevens was not yet a known quantity, so critics didn't necessarily take his every lyric to be autobiographical. New York, New York. Admitting this year will be his first time voting. Official full album stream of Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens. Joy and #hope were in the air, but Stevens — a beloved indie musician who'd once pledged allegiance to the ambitious goal of making a record about each of the 50 states — smelled blood. 10 New Albums to Stream Today By Lizzie Manno & Paste Staff September 25, 2020 | 12:42pm Sufjan Stevens Shares Video for New Single "Sugar" By Paris Rosenthal September 15, 2020 | … The Ascension will be available on streaming, digital, CD, cassette, 2xLP black vinyl, and first-pressing 2xLP clear vinyl with tip-on gatefold. Video Game 4. Run Away With Me 3. In that Atlantic interview, Kornhaber asked Stevens if "America" — a song in which Stevens sings, "I'm ashamed to admit I no longer believe" — is actually "about Stevens breaking up with God." Let’s focus on what’s working. A popular Facebook group (59,000 followers and counting) first asked a question that's since become something of a meme, "Is this Sufjan Stevens song gay or just about God?" Coronavirus has prompted yet another piece of entertainment to hit streaming early, only instead of a thriller or a Disney flick, it’s a new Sufjan Stevens album. Lamentations 5. Give each other love, respect and sacrifice. We'd really appreciated it. It’s his first full-length offering in five years following 2015’s Carrie & Lowel. America All songs written, recorded and produced by Sufjan Stevens. Information on Sufjan Stevens. Stream The Ascension below. But the flip side of this vivid visual style is that it has sometimes threatened to define him too completely. And so, in the middle of the George W. Bush era, when faith and American patriotism were often presented as with-us-or-against-us doctrines, Stevens' earnest religious conviction was treated as a novel curiosity, if not a troubling liability to his indie-cool credentials. In Gacy, he said, "I wanted to develop a story for a character that went against all of these other themes. Reviews of Seven Swans were also positive, but nearly every one of them made a point of praising it for steering clear of didacticism. 2021 Hypebeast Limited. "I've seen my wife at the K-Mart, in strange ideas we live apart." "I have loved you, I have grieved," he sings, ostensibly to his country, "I'm ashamed to admit I no longer believe." hide caption. New Releases. But, concedes our tireless and newly emboldened street preacher on The Ascension, she's at the very least worthy of an epic swan song. Sufjan Stevens Announces New Music Right When You Need Him Most Sufjan Stevens’s New Video Stars Renegade Dance Creator Jalaiah Harmon Sufjan Stevens on the First Time He Saw Call Me by Your Name In one of them, which in 2017 was re-published as an op-ed in the Washington Post, he exhorted, "You cannot pledge allegiance to a nation state and its flag in the name of God, for God has no political boundary. He added, speaking of "America," "I want to write a song that is casting judgment against the world. The Ascension, the latest album from Sufjan Stevens, abrasively discusses America’s failures through a kaleidoscope of synthesisers, drum machines, and proclamations. Review: Sufjan Stevens, 'Carrie & Lowell'. But the Second Coming might arrive before Sufjan makes good on that promise. Goodbye To All That 13. Sufjan Stevens’ eighth solo studio album, The Ascension, is a sonically complex reflection on personal longing and the artist’s skepticism of modern society.The electro-pop album, which came out on Friday, adds to Stevens’ diverse discography, which ranges from soft indie-rock to orchestral music to intense electronic. Sufjan Stevens has unveiled The Ascension, one of the most anticipated albums of the season. But "America," the best and most barbed song he's released in the past five years, fits much better as the closing track of Stevens' new album, The Ascension, an 80-minute meditation that revisits nearly every one of the grand themes he has explored during his two-decade career: Love, death, faith, desire, place, country, apocalypse, resurrection. Sugar 14. He had rewritten the leaping melody into something more straightforward, which is not as sacrilegious as it might seem: The song we so readily attribute to Francis Scott Key was, in fact, not an original musical composition but rather a poem he set to the tune of an existing melody, "The Anacreontic Song," a late-18th century ode to a British gentlemen's club. Kevin Winter/Getty Images It now feels like a harbinger, not only of the future of Stevens' increasingly uncompromising musical vision, but of where the rest of us were headed, too. "Let the record show what I couldn't quite confess," Stevens sings in a bright, quavering voice. Whether what he's professing is sacred or profane, Stevens very often feels like the protector of a faint, still-flickering flame — the type of feeling so often snuffed out by the cruel bluster of American culture. Cover art and album design by Sufjan Stevens. "Ativan" is a piercing, warts-and-then-some trip through withdrawal sickness; the sublime penultimate track "The Ascension" feels like eavesdropping on a churchgoer's murmured penance. Sufjan Stevens Will Bless Us With A New Album Very Soon. Stevens, spectacularly performing on Oct. 9, 2006 in Los Angeles. Not at all, Stevens insists: It is about "[my] crisis of faith about my identity as an American, and about my relationship to our culture, which I think is really diseased right now." James McAlister is a longtime collaborator of Sufjan Stevens and Aaron Dessner and a member of the Planetarium project with Sufjan, Bryce Dessner, and Nico Muhly, and as … After three minutes of listening to Sufjan Stevens’ eighth studio album for the first time, I was forced to stop and pause from the sonic explosions pulsing through my ears. So beautiful. Listen in below via Apple Music or Spotify. You can pre-order it here. Other notable offerings include “Video Game”, a reminder that everyone shouldn’t base their worth on someone else’s approval. “Sugar” dabbles with electronica with a stunning visual released on the same day. Sufjan Stevens has returned with his new album The Ascension out via his own label Asthmatic Kitty. As early as 2009, he was already admitting it was a "gimmick": As he told Paste that year, "The whole premise [to record an album for each state] was such a joke, and I think maybe I took it too seriously.". Ursa Major 9. Sufjan Stevens is a singer-songwriter living in New York City. HYPEBEAST® is a registered trademark of Hypebeast Hong Kong Ltd. Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more. "For by living for myself I was living for unrest.". Sufjan Stevens, onstage during the Academy Awards on March 4, 2018 in Los Angeles. Billed as the follow-up to Carrie & Lowell , The Ascension comprises 15 new songs from the singer-songwriter and comes with a … Terms & Conditions Is this Sufjan Stevens song gay or just about God. The Japanese legend’s latest high profile partnership is a less a car and more a “piece of art.”. Complete discography, ratings, reviews and more. The kinetic single "Sugar" is even more straightforward in its expression of desire: "Now that it's a quarter to ten, come on baby give me some sugar. On his next state album, cheerful invitations to "feel the Illinoise!" Luca Guadagnino directed a new video for my song “Tell Me You Love Me,” featuring work by Alessio Bolzoni and Celia Hempton. Maybe you love your partner, or your maker, or your best friend, or your country, or your mom, or your dog, or yourself. All genders are welcome to wear trompe l’oeil trousers and German army trainers. The Pitchfork Readers Poll features your picks for the best (and worst) in the world of music, including your choices for Top Albums … "I've been doing this for 20 years, and how many songs have I written about my own personal grievances [with] judgement against myself, self-deprecation, and sorrow?" Still, even on the records that earned him that reputation, Stevens was already reckoning pointedly with American darkness and the spiritual failings of late capitalism. And of course, sometimes tough love is the most potent variety. Sometimes the love in question is decidedly more carnal, even humorously so: "At the risk of sounding like a Confucian," Stevens sings on the surging highlight "Landslide," "I saw your body and I saw what I liked." He had actually written it in 2014, while working on his previous solo album, the wrenching Carrie & Lowell, but its sweeping scope and foreboding tone threatened to overwhelm that record's pointed, delicately wrought intimacy. It was a prolonged and strikingly personal meditation on faith: "To Be Alone With You" was a passionate reflection on Jesus's sacrifice; the title track conjured the apocalyptic imagery of the Book of Revelation. fb. This past July, several months into the Covid-19 pandemic, Stevens released a sprawling, twelve-minute song called "America." hide caption. It should. "I think I've earned the right to be didactic[,]" Stevens told The Atlantic's Spencer Kornhaber in a recent interview. ", Sonically, The Ascension shares some of its DNA with Stevens' colorful, synth-driven 2010 release The Age of Adz; the kitschy "Death Star" and the rollicking "Goodbye to All That" in particular would make sense on that record.

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