I don’t really remember how I got into Sufjan Stevens way back when, but I do remember that Illinoise blew my mind in 2005. It ended up being one of those albums I had to buy a second copy of because the first copy got scratched up from too much play. I’d never heard such beautiful, delicate music that dealt with such odd, random and at times incredibly dark subject matters. I promptly immersed myself in his back catalogue, and the utter quirk and sublime non-innocence that is Sufjan formed a love bubble that remains un-popped to this day.
He recently announced that his first album in five years, Carrie & Lowell, is set for a march 31 release. This news got me incredibly excited, despite the fact that I pretty much never listen to folk anymore. Like, ever. But he’s dropped the first tune off it, and I can safely say that I love it, and that it basically brought me to tears. Which is what is supposed to happen when you listen to Sufjan Stevens.
Take a listen here:
I love that it’s old and new. It’s familiar and welcoming and warm – but it’s also new and vibrant in his own way, and full of fresh heartbreak. Tiny vocal soars and perfectly employed harmonies dance around the guitar plucks. Ending rather abruptly at 2:39, I’m not sure if this is only half the song or not, but I’m definitely feeling a lot more emotional than I was three minutes ago.
Here’s the full trailer for the new album (because albums have trailers now):
And here’s the full tracklisting:
Carrie & Lowell Tracklist:
01. Death With Dignity
02. Should Have Known Better
03. All of Me Wants All of You
04. Drawn to the Blood
05. Fourth of July
06. The Only Thing
07. Carrie & Lowell
09. John My Beloved
10. No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross
11. Blue Bucket of Gold
Anyway, going to go cuddle a stuffed bear and cry into my pillow now.