Less than six months after the release of The Ascension – about which I still have mixed feeling to say the least – Sufjan has just announced a new instrumental album, Convocations. Comprised of five volumes – Meditations, Lamentations, Revelations, Celebrations and Incantations – the project is “a two-and-a-half-hour, 49-track reflection on a year of anxiety, uncertainty, isolation, and loss”, and while I’ve probably done enough reflecting over the last year or so, it’s Sufjan, so this is obviously excellent news, as even if it’s likely – on recent form – to be an uneven two-and-a-half-hours, you’re pretty much guaranteed at least a few moments of indescribable beauty. Out 06 May digitally, and 20 August via 5xLP colored vinyl boxset .
The latest in an ever-increasing and very welcome tide of singles from his upcoming album The Ascension, this is vintage Sufjan from the very first bar. Haunting pads and those brittle electronic drums that he’s been playing around with ever since the early A Sun Came-era weirdness, now honed and refined. Music video is great too. Maybe 2020 will turn out to be ok after all.
A new 12 minute song from Sufjan, and the lead single from his forthcoming album. There’s really very little more I need to say about this, other than it seems to be the culmination of almost everything he’s done in his career so far, with elements of folk, noise and electronica vying for space amongst lyrical themes both religious and nationalistic. If this is illustrative of the album, we’re in for a real treat come 25 September.
Sufjan has made a ‘new age’ (his words, not mine) album with his stepfather which is coming out next month, and this is the lead single. It’s brief but pretty intense: definitely more Age of Adz than Seven Swans. Intrigued to hear the LP.