Artist of the week: Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens became known to the majority of his actual audience throughout one truly original gimmick: that he would record and release one album thematically devoted to every one of the fifty states of the USA. Though he would abandoned the project right at its second act, the truth is that 2003’s Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake State and 2005’s Sufjan Stevens Invites You To: Come on Feel the Illinoise not only spawned accolades both regional and international, but definitely established him as one of the most original and fascinating singer-songwriters of his generation.
Sufjan Stevens is also a truly magnificent and eclectic multi-instrumentalist that has released throughout his career albums of varying styles from the electronica of both 2001’s Enjoy Your Rabbit and 2010’s The Age of Adz to the symphonic orchestrations of his state records and of 2007’s The BQE and the lo-fi folk of 2004’s Seven Swans. It is precisely the sparse, acoustic and biblical tone of this record that immediately comes to mind once you listen to his new album: Carrie & Lowell is not only a return to his indie folk roots but his most spiritual work yet, a genuine coming to terms with the passing of his mother in 2012, the memories of his family trips to Oregon during his childhood and the love that nurtured the relationship with his stepfather (who currently runs his Asthmatic Kitty label). Odds are you won’t listen to a more moving records in 2015.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.