Sufjan Stevens Returns to His Folky Roots With Carrie & Lowell

Carrie & Lowell

As much as I’ve come to appreciate Sufjan Stevens’ more experimental bent — whether we’re talking about his unique take on Christmas carols, the electro-hip-hop stylings on Age of Adz, or his avant-garde orchestral and soundtrack compositions — I must confess that I’ve missed “folky” Sufjan. You know, the Sufjan that wrote and sang such hushed, evocative songs as “Vito’s Ordination Song,” “Wolverine,” “The Dress Looks Nice On You,” and “Casimir Pulaski Day.”

Well, it looks like that Sufjan is set to return. On March 31, Asthmatic Kitty will release Carrie & Lowell, which is named for his mother and stepfather and is “a 44-minute meditation on mortality, memory, and faith.” More from the album announcement:

Each track in this collection of eleven songs begins with a fragile melody that gathers steam until it becomes nothing less than a modern hymn. Sufjan recounts the indignities of our world, of technological distraction and sad sex, of an age without either myth or miracle — and this time around, his voice carries the burden of wisdom.

You can hear a snippet of the title track in this album teaser. Sufjan’s breathy voice singing against picked guitars and fluttering synths sure sounds mighty nice to these ears o’ mine.

The album is currently available for pre-order from iTunes and Bandcamp. The album will also be released on CD and vinyl. (Originally, there were two vinyl versions, but the clear limited edition is apparently already sold out.)

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