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Music

Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine – Olympus

Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine. Credit: Daniel Anum Jasper

I’m pretty convinced at this stage that Sufjan barely sleeps. Following two albums in 2020 and Convocations from earlier this year, announced today was A Beginner’s Mind, a collaborative album alongside Angelo De Augustine and written during a month-long sabbatical in upstate New York staying in a friend’s cabin. A 14 track album “(loosely) based on (mostly) popular films”, single Olympus explores the mythical deities and monsters created by Ray Harryhausen for films such as Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, and is an evocative, folky delight.

https://abeginnersmind.net

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Music

Sufjan Stevens – Revelation V

It’s fairly outrageous that despite stealing the name for this blog from one of his songs, I’ve barely acknowledged than Sufjan has put out four (four!) albums in the last month or so. Arguably it’s one album, split into four parts, but still. My various excuses: I’ve been busy! There’s been a lot of good music to cover! Pubs have been open! Etc. Anyway, this is me officially saying: these albums exist and are all out now and are definitely worth your time. Also, they’re all on YouTube in their entirety.

Like many of Sufjan’s albums, they’re self-indulgent and meandering. Also like every single one of his albums, there are moments of such sublime, heart-rending beauty that you can’t imagine listening to anyone else ever again. Revelation V is one of those moments, but there are many, many more.

https://sufjan.com

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Music

Sufjan Stevens – Meditation V

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 .

https://asthmatickitty.com

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Music

Sufjan Stevens – Sugar

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.

https://sufjan.com

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Music

Sufjan Stevens – America

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.

https://sufjan.com

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Music

Sufjan Stevens, Lowell Brams – The Unlimited

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.

https://sufjan.com