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SUFJAN STEVENS

Sufjan Stevens

Seven Swans - 20th Anniversary Edition

    The follow-up to 2003’s ‘Michigan’, Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Seven Swans’ was released originally in 2004. The Guardian dubbed it “a record of remarkable delicacy,” and Billboard called it a “consistently moving, subtly beautiful experience.”

    The folk songs of Sufjan’s ‘Seven Swans’ occupy a singular space in his catalogue. The quiet, psalm-like music arrived less than a year after his 2003 breakthrough album, ‘Michigan’ and his much-publicized announcement to write an album for each of the 50 states. Just as wider audiences were becoming acquainted with the ever-evolving artist—who had, by this point, released a lo-fi folk-pop collage (2000’s ‘A Sun Came’), a Zodiac-inspired electronic suite (2001’s ‘Enjoy Your Rabbit’), and a grand, orchestral epic to kickstart his exploration of the country (‘Michigan’)—he re-introduced himself in hushed tones.

    Despite cultivating a vast influence that spans genres, ‘Seven Swans’ is defined by its sense of intimacy. Think of it as Stevens’ self-penned book of prayer, a talisman that’s never been far from reach. This was a time in his career when his songwriting dealt explicitly with themes of Christianity, and his stark performances helped bring the celestial down to earth. Staples of his songbook like “The Dress Looks Nice on You” and “To Be Alone With You” are disarming in their gentleness, and for every gesture toward a divine presence, Stevens knew how to balance it with a vulnerable expression of humanity, using the language of love songs to outline the shadow of uncertainty in devoting ourselves to something bigger. Listening to ‘Seven Swans’ leaves us with enough hope, mystery, and wisdom to make it feel alive and exalting whenever we return.

    To celebrate the 20th anniversary of this now-beloved piece of Sufjan’s catalogue, AKR is releasing a Dinked Edition exclusive. Pressed on cream-in-black corona vinyl and housed in a matte jacket with embossing and a spot gloss finish, the LP package will include a flexi disc featuring two bonus tracks, “I Went Dancing With My Sister” and “Waste of What Your Kids Won't Have.” The Dinked edition also comes with seven sheets of origami paper, in order to craft seven origami swans.


    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    All The Trees Of The Field Will Clap Their Hands
    The Dress Looks Nice On You
    In The Devil’s Territory
    To Be Alone With You
    Abraham
    Sister

    Side B
    1. Size Too Small
    2. We Won’t Need Legs To Stand
    3. A Good Man Is Hard To Find
    4. He Woke Me Up Again
    5. Seven Swans
    6. The Transfiguration

    Flexi Disc
    I Went Dancing With My Sister
    Waste Of What Your Kids Won’t Have

    Sufjan Stevens

    Javelin

      Javelin marks Stevens’ first solo album of songs since 2020’s The Ascension, and his first in full singer-songwriter mode since 2015’s Carrie & Lowell, bridging all these approaches like never before. Whether listened to individually or as an album, these 10 songs become something much bigger, the entire experience of Stevens’ 25-year career brought to bear in four-minute bursts of choral, orchestral, and electric wonder.

      Javelin pairs musical sweep with emotional breadth. At times, it has the feel of a big team album production — but it is decidedly not: almost every sound here is the result of Stevens at home, building by himself what sometimes feels like a testament to ‘70s Los Angeles studio opulence. The contributions come from a close circle of friends – adrienne maree brown, Hannah Cohen, Pauline Delassus, Megan Lui and Nedelle Torrisi – who provide harmonies on many songs, and Bryce Dessner, who plays acoustic and electric guitar on “Shit Talk.” Of course, Neil Young wrote the tender and mystic album closer, “There’s A World.”

      Where The Ascension, lauded by The New York Times as “a cry of despair and prayer for redemption,” used ornate but urgent electronics to square up to its moment, Javelin begins like a self-portrait, detailed yet plain. This is Stevens at his most intimate, calling back to Seven Swans or Carrie & Lowell and then calling you close to share in its internal reckoning.

      “So You Are Tired” begins with a gently introduced piano before intricate layers of guitar and percussion build, creating a lush, melancholic atmosphere. “So you are tired of us // So rest your head,” Stevens sings in his signature disarming voice, as if the very scenes of hurt and hope it is about to share have only galvanized it through the decades. 

      Javelin is accompanied by a 48-page book of art and essays all created by Stevens, including a series of meticulous collages, cut-up catalog fantasies, puff-paint word clouds, and iterative color fields. The 10 short essays — alternatively funny, tragic, poignant, obtuse, and specific — offer little glimpses into loves and losses that have shaped him, and, in turn, these songs.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Andy says: Delicate, fragile yet somehow forthright, this new collection of perfect songs sees Sufjan Stevens return to the summits previously inhabited by 2003’s ‘Michigan’, 2005’s ‘Illinois’ and 2015’s ‘Carrie and Lowell’. Basically, this new record is raw, soul searching, heart yearning, pain, truth, and beauty poured onto tape. There’s also plenty of love around, both personal and universal, so there’s something here for everyone, anyone who has a heart! If you’re familiar with Sufjan’s oeuvre, you’ll know that he’s a pure, total artist who determinedly follows his muse. This often results in unusual, experimental, often heavily electronic records. I think I speak for most people when I say, his melancholy acoustic albums are the ones we love the most. Personal highlights for me are “Will Anyone Ever Love Me?” and “So You Are Tired”. The latter is a breakup song to top all break up songs. It's exquisitely beautiful.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Goodnight Evergreen
      2. A Running Start
      3. Will Anybody Ever Love Me?
      4. Everything That Rises
      5. Genuflecting Ghost
      6. My Red Little Fox
      7. So You Are Tired
      8. Javelin (To Have And To Hold)
      9.Shit Talk
      10. There’s A World

      Sufjan Stevens, Timo Andres, & Conor Hanick

      Reflections

        Composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens announces the album Reflections, a studio recording of his score for the ballet by choreographer Justin Peck, performed by pianists Timo Andres and Conor Hanick. 

        Reflections was originally commissioned by Houston Ballet to accompany choreography by Peck and premiered March 21, 2019. Written for two pianos and eleven dancers, Reflections marks the sixth collaboration between Stevens and Peck, following Year of the Rabbit (2012); Everywhere We Go (2014); In the Countenance of Kings (2016); The Decalogue (2017); and Principia (2019).

        The studio recording was engineered, mixed and mastered by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Studios. Reflections is characteristic Stevens: dynamic, melodic, memorable, emotionally resonant and playful (one track is titled “And I Shall Come To You Like A Stormtrooper in Drag Serving Imperial Realness”). It is about “energy, light and duality,” Stevens says. “I’m constantly thinking about bodies moving through space when I’m writing for ballet — that is what has informed this music, first and foremost.”

        This is Stevens’ second recorded release of his compositions for piano—following The Decalogue in 2019—and his first written for two pianos. There is a long tradition of composing for duo pianos—from John Adams’ “Hallelujah Junction” to Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major—and Stevens was happy to further explore the form. “Although I've never taken a lesson,” he says, “the piano was my first true love. Having two of them at my disposal was an exciting opportunity and gave me a real catharsis about the expansiveness of the instrument.”

        Self-taught as both a pianist and a composer, Stevens’ first instrument was the oboe, which he started playing in 5th grade. He played in orchestras from high school through college and listened voraciously to recordings of classical music alongside pop radio. But Stevens would often take breaks from the oboe by improvising on the piano, working out music he had heard in passing — pieces by Chopin, Rachmaninov and Bach. “I learned by ear, in a very rudimentary way, inspired by a wide range of music,” he says. “A lot of the work that I compose is anachronistic as it doesn't follow a genealogy of aesthetic. It can be a cornucopia of styles.” That's the case with Reflections, where listeners may detect a hint of Debussy, Stravinsky, Philip Glass and even Bruce Hornsby.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Ekstasis
        2. Revanche
        3. Euphoros
        4. Mnemosyne
        5. Rodinia
        6. Reflexion
        7. And I Shall Come To You Like A Stormtrooper In Drag Serving Imperial Realness

        Sufjan Stevens

        Convocations

          Convocations, the new instrumental album from Sufjan Stevens, moves like a two-and-a-half-hour electronic/ambient mass for our present age of anxiety and dread; its 49 tracks work through the stages of grief and gladness with emotional mood music that is dreamy, dissonant, vertiginous, rhythmic, repetitive, urgent, and calm—that is, all the things we undergo when we inevitably live through isolation, uncertainty, and loss. Its five sonic cycles (Meditations, Lamentations, Revelations, Celebrations, and Incantations) replicate different stages of mourning, healing and catharsis, working both to soothe our unease while savoring a renewed sense of awe and wonder for being alive in these unprecedented times.

          Stevens initiated Convocations in response to (and as an homage to) the life and death of his father, who died in September last year, two days following the release of The Ascension. It is, then, ultimately an album about death, and an album that reflects a year in which we have all lost so much. That said, this is not a personal record, but a universal one. Convocations is built on a shared experience that seeks to be honest about how complicated grief can be in these difficult times—the pain and separation, the anxiety, the unknown, the absolute joy of memory. This is also an album made in lockdown, when we were all cloistered in whatever space we had. Convocations arrives just as we begin to emerge from a year whose losses we will calculate for a lifetime.

          It is, then, right on time, as we begin to process our grief and try to carry on with it.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: This latest outing from the endlessly talented Stevens truly is an epic and sees him turn his hand to the world of ambient music in a 6LP collection. it's wonderfully tender and beautifully accomplished, further proving Sufjan can turn his hand to anything, no matter the genre.

          TRACK LISTING

          Volume 1: Meditations
          SIDE A
          Meditation I 3:39
          Meditation II 2:26
          Meditation III 4:04
          Meditation IV 2:09
          Meditation V 2:10
          SIDE B
          Meditation VI 2:16
          Meditation VII 2:33
          Meditation VIII 1:48
          Meditation IX 2:11
          Meditation X 3:40

          Volume 2: Lamentations
          SIDE C
          Lamentation I 3:48
          Lamentation II 2:24
          Lamentation III 3:17
          Lamentation IV 1:59
          Lamentation V 4:10
          SIDE D
          Lamentation VI 4:42
          Lamentation VII 1:51
          Lamentation VIII 3:34
          Lamentation IX 3:29
          Lamentation X 1:58

          Volume 3: Revelations
          SIDE E
          Revelation I 3:20
          Revelation II 2:53
          Revelation III 2:01
          Revelation IV 4:09
          Revelation V 2:52
          SIDE F
          Revelation VII 4:03
          Revelation VIII 2:51
          Revelation IX 4:38
          Revelation X 4:17

          Volume 4: Celebrations
          Celebration I 2:19
          Celebration II 5:55
          Celebration III 3:10
          Celebration IV 3:22
          Celebration V 2:59
          Celebration VI 4:01
          Celebration VII 3:41
          Celebration VIII 3:25
          Celebration IX 1:35
          Celebration X 4:10

          Volume 5: Incantations
          Incantation I 2:17
          Incantation II 1:58
          Incantation III 1:36
          Incantation IV 2:10
          Incantation V 3:14
          Incantation VI 1:49
          Incantation VII 1:53
          Incantation VIII 2:56
          Incantation IX 4:28

          Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine

          A Beginner's Mind

            A Beginner’s Mind began when the two musicians and Asthmatic Kitty labelmates decamped to a friend’s cabin in upstate New York for a monthlong songwriting sabbatical. Watching a movie to unwind after each day’s work, they soon found their songs reflecting the films and began investigating this connection in earnest.

            The resulting album is 14 songs (loosely) based on (mostly) popular films—highbrow, lowbrow and everything in between. They wrote in tandem—one person writing a verse, the other a chorus, churning out chord progressions and lyrics willy-nilly, often finishing each other’s sentences in the process. Rigorous editing and rewriting ensued. The results are less a “cinematic exegesis” and more a “rambling philosophical inquiry” that allows the songs to free-associate at will. Plot-points, scene summaries, and leading characters are often displaced by esoteric interpolations that ask the bigger question: what does it mean to be human in a broken world?

            Stevens and De Augustine wrote everything with a deliberate sense of shoshin—the Zen Buddhist concept for which the record is named and an idea that empowered the pair to look for and write about unlikely inspiration without preconceived notions of what a film had to say (The I-Ching and Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies also served as incentives along the way). The movies became rhetorical prompts, with the songwriters letting their distinct reactions and creative instincts govern their process. The underlying objective was empathy and openness, absent of judgment: to observe with the eyes of a child.

            The album’s artwork comes courtesy of Ghanaian artist Daniel Anum Jasper. In Ghana during the late ’80s, a novel “mobile cinema” culture emerged when enterprising film fans screened Hollywood blockbusters in the backs of pick-up trucks using portable generators. To advertise the movies, artists painted alternate posters inspired only by the scant information they had about each film. Sufjan and Angelo commissioned a pioneer of this form—Jasper—to paint a series of new works for A Beginner’s Mind (including covers for three 7-inch singles). Information about the project was deliberately kept vague so that Mr. Jasper could work without restraint.

            Sufjan Stevens is an artist, songwriter and composer living in New York. He has released nine widely lauded studio albums and a number of collaborations with fellow musicians, choreographers and visual artists from the New York City Ballet and the celebrated director Luca Guadagnino to his stepfather Lowell Brams and noted dancer Jalaiah Harmon.

            Angelo De Augustine is an artist and songwriter living in Thousand Oaks, California—a suburb north of Los Angeles, where he grew up. He has released three albums including his self-released debut, Spirals of Silence (2014), and two for Asthmatic Kitty Records, Swim Inside The Moon (2017) and Tomb (2019).

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Darryl says: Beautifully combining the distinct voices and instrumental styles of both performers into an intoxicating juxtaposition of folk and tenderly plucked indie balladry. It's haunting in parts, and elsewhere wonderfully melodic, a perfect outing for both performers.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Reach Out 3:43
            2. Lady Macbeth In Chains 3:42
            3. Back To Oz 4:25
            4. The Pillar Of Souls 4:04
            5. You Give Death A Bad Name 5:11
            6. Beginner’s Mind 2:36
            7. Olympus 3:07
            8. Murder And Crime 3:43
            9. (This Is) The Thing 3:13
            10. It’s Your Own Body And Mind 2:27
            11. Lost In The World 3:20
            12. Fictional California 3:03
            13. Cimmerian Shade 5:01
            14. Lacrimae 2:05

            Sufjan Stevens

            The Ascension

              Sufjan returns with the long awaited follow up to Carrie & Lowell, featuring some of his most confident and varied work to date. We kick things off with the unassuming beginnings of 'Make Me An Offer I Cannot Refuse' before launching into a deeply electronic but airy Thom Yorkey vocal workout. It's this sort of rapid switch and thematic flexibility that both characterises the album and leads to the most surprising and satisfying moments of his career. 

              'Video Game' sees some haunting organy synth leading into a deeply rythmic and pop-led verse, showcasing Stevens' iconic voice, and dedication to variety in songcraft.  

              there are some more ambient moments at play, with 'Die Happy' and 'Gilgamesh' trading on the ambient electronic backdrop, but with long tailed reverbs and soaring echoes working their way around the stereo image. 

              Possibly the most satisfying moments on this collection comes as the flow of the album quietens down into the euphoric redux of the latter third of the album. 'Sugar' could easily have been the background to some of the earlier, skittering electronics of Múm or the Rós, while the title track encompasses everything we love about Stevens, but imbued with a mildly melancholic but wholly relaxed atmospherics. 

              It's a beautiful LP, and one that only goes to prove how essential Stevens continues to be on our musical landscape. 

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Javi says: From the opening choral glitches to the sea of ambience which sees the album out, ‘The Ascension’ is a patchwork of electronic experimentation, distorted lamentations, and intimate confession.

              Sufjan Stevens has long been a musical chameleon: from the alt-folk expression of ‘Carrie & Lowell’, to the meticulously-researched bombast of ‘Illinois’ and digital catharsis of ‘The Age of Adz’, he’s proven time and time again that whatever the instrumentation or subject matter, he can write rich, personal, spiritual songs like no one else. ‘The Ascension’ draws on all these and more, to create an album as fragile as it is grand, as despairing as it is defiant, and as inspired (if not more so) than anything he’s done before.

              ‘The Ascension’ is a predominantly electronic affair: huge, distorted drums pulse throughout the album, underscoring hordes of ghostly voices and shifting synths. Celestial car alarm effects argue with auto-tuned vocal cries, while album highlight “Landslide” sees Sufjan bow to a guitar solo, of all things, teetering in-between The Durutti Column’s understated beauty and wild math-rock frenzy. Lyrically, Sufjan seems desperate for a response, making demands and pleading with us, the listener, to soothe his anxieties. Faith and certainty are out; desire and anxiety are in. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the penultimate and titular track, which sees Sufjan explore those thoughts he “couldn’t quite confess” to gut-wrenching effect.

              Like Dante’s Inferno reimagined as a tour of purgatory, ‘The Ascension’ is a deeply conflicted, gloriously lost, and tentatively comforting album. It’s Sufjan’s finest hour (and twenty minutes) yet.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Make Me An Offer I Cannot Refuse (5:19)
              2. Run Away With Me (4:07)
              3. Video Game (4:16)
              4. Lamentations (3:42)
              5. Tell Me You Love Me (4:22)
              6. Die Happy (5:47)
              7. Ativan (6:32)
              8. Ursa Major (3:43)
              9. Landslide (5:04)
              10. Gilgamesh (3:50)
              11. Death Star (4:04)
              12. Goodbye To All That (3:48)
              13. Sugar (7:37)
              14. The Ascension (5:56)
              15. America (12:30)

              Sufjan Stevens & Lowell Brams

              Aporia

                Aporia is a New Age album from Sufjan Stevens and his step-father and record label co-owner, Lowell Brams. In the spirit of the New Age composers who sanded off the edges of their synths’ sawtooth waves, Aporia approximates a rich soundtrack from an imagined sci-fi epic brimming with moody, hooky, gauzy synthesizer soundscapes. The album may suggest the progeny of a John Carpenter, Wendy Carlos, and Mike Oldfield marriage, but it stands apart from these touchstones and generates a meditative universe all its own. This is no mere curio in the Sufjan Stevens catalog - but a fully realized collaborative musical piece.

                TRACK LISTING

                ` SIDE A

                1.Ousia 2:33
                2.What It Takes 3:23
                3.Disinheritance 1:13
                4.Agathon 3:02
                5.Determined Outcome 2:12
                6.Misology 1:49
                7.Afterworld Alliance 2:47
                8.Palinodes 0:32
                9.Backhanded Cloud 1:26
                10.Glorious You 1:49



                SIDE B

                11.For Raymond Scott 0:34
                12.Matronymic 0:57
                13.The Red Desert 2:54
                14.Conciliation 1:20
                15.Ataraxia 1:12
                16.The Unlimited 2:14
                17.The Runaround 3:35
                18.Climb That Mountain 3:00
                19.Captain Praxis 2:13
                20.Eudaimonia 2:19
                21.The Lydian Ring 1:02

                Sufjan Stevens & Timo Andres

                The Decalogue

                  Oscar- and Grammy-nominated composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens releases his acclaimed score for Justin Peck’s ballet The Decalogue via his own label, AKR. Performed by the pianist Timo Andres, the recording is the first time the score, premiered during the New York City Ballet’s 2017 season, is available to the public. 

                  The Decalogue is the third collaboration between NYCB Resident Choreographer Peck and Stevens, following 2012’s Year of the Rabbit and 2014’s Everywhere We Go. The piece was widely praised upon its premiere; The New York Times lauded the “beauty and charm” of Peck’s choreography as well as Stevens’ “romantically modernist études.”

                  Brooklyn-based composer-pianist Timo Andres is a Nonesuch Records artist, who has written major works for the Boston Symphony, Carnegie Hall, the Barbican, the Takács Quartet, the Concertgebouw, and elsewhere. He performs regularly with Gabriel Kahane, and has frequently appeared with Philip Glass, Becca Stevens, Nadia Sirota, the Kronos Quartet, John Adams, Ted Hearne, and others. As a pianist, Timo has performed at Lincoln Center, for the New York Philharmonic, the LA Phil, at Wigmore Hall, for San Francisco Performances, and at (le) Poisson Rouge. Upcoming highlights include a curated program for the Cincinnati Symphony (featuring Dance Heginbotham and a performance of Andres’s cello concerto, Upstate Obscura), and a solo piano recital for Carnegie Hall. Previous work with Sufjan Stevens includes the orchestration of “Principia” for Justin Peck and the New York City Ballet.

                  A singer-songwriter currently living in New York, Sufjan Stevens’ preoccupation with epic concepts has motivated two state records (Michigan and Illinois), a collection of sacred and biblical songs (Seven Swans), an electronic album for the animals of the Chinese zodiac (Enjoy Your Rabbit), an expansive EP in homage to the Apocalypse (All Delighted People), a full length partly inspired by the outsider artist Royal Robertson (The Age of Adz) and two Christmas box sets (Songs for Christmas, vol. 1-5 and Silver & Gold, vol. 6-10). BAM has commissioned two works from Stevens, a programmatic tone poem for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (The BQE) and an instrumental accompaniment to slow-motion rodeo footage (Round-Up). Stevens’ Planetarium, a collaborative album with Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and James McAlister imbued with themes of the cosmos, was released in 2017 to widespread critical praise.

                  2015’s highly acclaimed Carrie & Lowell explored his relationship with his mother in the wake of her death; a companion collection of outtakes, remixes and demos, The Greatest Gift Mixtape, was released in 2017. The songs “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart” were released in 2018 in celebration of Pride Month, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Ali Forney Center in Harlem, NY and the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, MI. Stevens also contributed three much-lauded songs to Luca Guadagnino’s critically acclaimed film Call Me By Your Name, including the Oscar-nominated “Mystery of Love.”

                  TRACK LISTING

                  I
                  II
                  III
                  IV
                  V
                  VI
                  VII
                  VIII
                  IX
                  X

                  Sufjan Stevens

                  Songs For Christmas

                    As some of you may or may not know, for the past few years, as a holiday tradition, Sufjan has embarked on an extraordinary experiment to record an annual Christmas EP. It started in 2001, the year of Epiphanies, and continued onward (skipping only 2004), culminating into an odd and idiosyncratic catalog of music that has only existed in the Asthmatic Kitty archives (and on a number of file sharing sites). The recording process took place every December, for one week, usually at home, provoking collaborations with friends, roommates, and musical peers. Armed with a Reader's Digest Christmas Songbook (and a mug of hot cider) Sufjan & friends concocted a musical fruit cake year after year, implementing every musical instrument they could find lying around the house: banjo, oboe, Casiotone, wood flute, a buzzy guitar, hand claps, sleigh bells, Hammond organ, and some tree tinsel. Did we mention sleigh bells? It doesn't take much to capture that Creepy Christmas Feeling, does it? Recorded, mixed and mastered at home, the EPs themselves were often assembled in the kitchen, stapled together, and sent out with stickers and stamps to loved ones across the globe, year after year. Recording traditional favourites alongside unique originals, Sufjan has, over the course of five years, constructed an odd, impressive, and compelling collection of Christmas hits (and some misses) that will either warm your heart or make you throw up eggnog all over the bath mat (depending on your constitution). Asthmatic Kitty now releases ALL of the material (newly mixed and mastered) in one generous box set.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Silent Night
                    O Come, O Come Emmanuel
                    We’re Goin’ To The Country
                    Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming
                    It’s Christmas! Let’s Be Glad!
                    Holy, Holy, Holy
                    Amazing Grace
                    Angels We Have Heard
                    Put The Lights On The Tree
                    Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
                    I Saw Three Ships
                    Only At Christmas Time
                    Once In Royal David’s City
                    Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!
                    What Child Is This Anyway?
                    Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella
                    O Come, O Come Emmanuel
                    Come On! Let’s Boogey To The Elf Dance!
                    We Three Kings
                    O Holy Night
                    That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!
                    Ding! Dong!
                    All The King’s Horns
                    The Friendly Beasts
                    The Little Drummer Boy
                    Away In A Manger
                    Hey Guys! It’s Christmas Time!
                    The First Noel
                    Did I Make You Cry On Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved It!)
                    The Incarnation
                    Joy To The World
                    Once In Royal David’s City
                    Get Behind Me, Santa!
                    Jingle Bells
                    Christmas In July
                    Lo! How A Rose E’er Blooming
                    Jupiter Winter
                    Sister Winter
                    O Come O Come Emmanuel
                    Star Of Wonder
                    Holy, Holy, Holy
                    The Winter Solstice

                    Carrie & Lowell, the new album from Sufjan Stevens, is released on Stevens’ own Asthmatic Kitty Records. 

                    The album - named for Stevens’ mother and stepfather - is a return to Stevens’ folk roots. Thematically the 11 songs address life and death, love and loss, and the artist’s struggle to make sense of the beauty and ugliness of love.

                    Carrie & Lowell was recorded by Stevens alongside Casey Foubert, Laura Veirs, Nedelle Torrisi, Sean Carey, Ben Lester and Thomas Bartlett and mixed by Stevens, Bartlett and Pat Dillet.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Death With Dignity
                    2. Should Have Known Better
                    3. All Of Me Wants All Of You
                    4. Drawn To The Blood
                    5. Eugene
                    6. Fourth Of July
                    7. The Only Thing
                    8. Carrie & Lowell
                    9. John My Beloved
                    10. No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross
                    11. Blue Bucket Of Gold

                    Sufjan Stevens

                    Enjoy Your Rabbit

                      Sufjan Stevens departs from the singer-songwriter persona of "A Sun Came", "Michigan", and "Seven Swans", with fourteen instrumental compositions based on the animals of the Chinese zodiac. Combining his widely acclaimed gift for melody with electronic sounds, "Enjoy Your Rabbit", deftly demonstrates Sufjan's versatility with an unusually playful and engagingly human electronic experience.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      Year Of The Asthmatic Cat
                      Year Of The Monkey
                      Year Of The Rat
                      Year Of The Ox
                      Year Of The Boar
                      Year Of The Tiger
                      Year Of The Snake
                      Year Of The Sheep
                      Year Of The Rooster
                      Year Of The Dragon
                      Enjoy Your Rabbit
                      Year Of The Dog
                      Year Of The Horse
                      Year Of Our Lord

                      Sufjan Stevens

                      Silver & Gold

                        Who can save us from the infidels of Christmas commodity? Look no further, tired shopper, for your hero arrives as the diligent songwriter Sufjan Stevens, army of one, banjo in one hand, drum machine in the other, holed up in his room, surrounded by hymnals, oratorios, music charts, sacred harp books, paperclipped-photo-copied Readers Digest Christmas catalogs, singing his barbaric yawp above the snow-capped rooftops.

                        This deluxe 5CD boxset includes 5 CD EPs (‘Gloria’, ‘I Am Santa’s Helper’, ‘Christmas Infinity Voyage’, ‘Let It Snow’ and ‘Christmas Unicorn’), 2. Christmas stickers, temporary tattoos (non-toxic & safe for children), a paper ornament (self-assembly with directions), an apocalyptic pull-out poster, song lyrics and chord charts, hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design (by Sufjan Stevens) and extensive liner notes (essays by Sufjan Stevens and Pastor Vito Aiuto).

                        Sufjan Stevens

                        The Avalanche

                          Sufjan's last album, "Illinois" was originally conceived as a double album, culminating in a musical collage of nearly 50 songs. But as the project began to develop into an unwieldy epic, common sense weighed in – as did the opinions of others – and the project was cut in half. But as 2005 came to a close, Sufjan returned to the old, forsaken songs on his 8-track like a grandfather remembering his youth. Sufjan gleaned 21 useable tracks from the abandoned material, including three alternate versions of "Chicago". Some songs were in finished form, others were merely outlines, gesture drawings, or musical scribbles mumbled on a hand-held tape recorder. Most of the material required substantial editing, new arrangements or vocals. Much of the work was done at the end of 2005 or in January the following year. Sufjan invited many of the original Illinoisemakers to fill in the edges: drums, trumpet, a choir of singers. The centrepiece, of course, was the title track – "The Avalanche" – a song intended for the leading role on the "Illinois" album but eventually cut and placed as a bonus track on the vinyl release.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          The Avalanche
                          Super Computer
                          Adlai
                          Vivian
                          Chicago Acoustic
                          Henney Buggy
                          Saul Bellow
                          Carlyle
                          Springfield
                          Mistress
                          Kaskaskia River
                          Chicago AC
                          Inaugural Music
                          Your Land
                          Tornado
                          Pick Up
                          Perpetual Self
                          Pluto
                          Chicago OCD
                          Pittsfield
                          Undivided Self

                          Sufjan Stevens

                          Illinoise

                            Sufjan Stevens scales dusty prairies, steel factories, and two hundred years of history to produce his newest album "Illinois" on Rough Trade. Invoking the muse of poet Carl Sandburg (and the musical flourishes of Rodgers and Hammerstein), "Illinois" ushers in trumpets on parade, string quartets, female choruses and ambient piano scales arranged around Stevens' emerging falsetto. Whereas 2003s "Michigan" (the inaugural album of 'The 50 States' project) was rooted in memory, and 2004s "Seven Swans" was rooted in the spirit, "Illinois" is rooted in 'the world, in society, invention, civilisation, in disease, in death, in education, in business', says Stevens. And unlike "Seven Swans", Stevens surmounted the heights of "Illinois" solo, employing guest musicians but recording, engineering, and producing the album entirely on his own.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois
                            The Black Hawk War, Or, How To Demolish An Entire Civilization And Still Feel Good About Yourself In The Morning, Or, We Apologize For The Inconvenience But You’re Going To Have To Leave Now, Or, “I Have Fought The Big Knives And Will Continue To Fight Them Till They Are Off Our Lands!”
                            Come On! Feel The Illinoise! / Part I: The World’s Columbian Exposition / Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream
                            John Wayne Gacy, Jr
                            Jacksonville
                            A Short Reprise For Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, But For Very Good  Reasons
                            Decatur, Or, Round Of Applause For Your Step-Mother!
                            One Last “Whoo-Hoo!” For The Pullman
                            Chicago
                            Casimir Pulaski Day
                            To The Workers Of The Rock River Valley Region, I have An Idea Concerning Your Predicament, And It Involves An Inner Tube, Bath Mats, And 21 Able-Bodied Men
                            The Man Of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
                            Prairie Fire That Wanders About
                            A Conjunction Of Drones Simulating The Way In Which Sufjan Stevens Has An Existential Crisis In The Great Godfrey Maze
                            The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us
                            They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhh!
                            Let’s Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don’t Think They Heard It All The Way Out In Bushnell 
                            In This Temple As In The Hearts Of Man For Whom He Saved The Earth
                            The Seer’s Tower
                            The Tallest Man, The Broadest Shoulders / Part I: The Great Frontier / Part II: Come To Me Only With Playthings Now
                            Riffs And Variations On A Single Note For Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, And The King Of Swing, To Name A Few
                            Out Of Egypt, Into The Great Laugh Of Mankind, And I Shake The Dirt From My  Sandals As I Run

                            Sufjan Stevens

                            Presents Greetings From Michigan

                              Sufjan's homage to his home state is a beautiful mix of Stereolab meets Philip Glass meets indie-folk - a delicate vocal with intricate instrumentation. 

                              Although he plays all the instruments on the album himself, he enlists the help of fellow Danielson Famile members  Megan, Elin, and Daniel Smith on vocal duties.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              Flint (For The Unemployed And Underpaid)
                              All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!
                              For The Widows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti
                              Say Yes! To M!ch!gan!
                              The Upper Peninsula
                              Tahquamenon Falls
                              Holland
                              Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)
                              Romulus
                              Alanson, Crooked River
                              Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie
                              They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For The Homeless In Muskegon)
                              Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickeral Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw?)
                              Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou)
                              Vito’s Ordination Song

                              Sufjan Stevens

                              Seven Swans

                                THE PICCADILLY RECORDS ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2004

                                This is wonderful! Sufjan has created another stunning album, by blending pastoral folk songs, with a whole host of unusual instrumentation, including electric piano, xylophone and glockenspiel that at times are reminiscent of Philip Glass, occasional bursts of frantic but melodic banjo, and various brass and woodwind instruments and the whole thing is held together through out by some stunningly simple acoustic guitar and fragile, half whispered vocals.


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