“The Unlimited” by Sufjan Stevens & Lowell Brams

The first single from Sufjan’s upcoming album traffics in ghostly synths and harrowing drones.

A new Sufjan Stevens album is always something to be excited about, but I’m particularly excited about Aporia, his latest collaboration with Lowell Brams (the founder of Asthmatic Kitty and Sufjan’s step-dad). Just check out this bits from the press release:

  • “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.”
  • “Tracks like Agathon,’ Afterworld Alliance’ and The Runaround’ feel like unrecorded fantasy jams between Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis and Tangerine Dream. Eudimonia’ sounds like a sister track to New Order’s Elegia.’ ”

So basically a Sufjan album inspired by the likes of John Carpenter, Moroder, and Vangelis? Yes, please. You can hear all of that in “The Unlimited,” the album’s moody, abstract first single. With its ghostly synths, harrowing drones, and muffled, subterranean beats, “The Unlimited” is a pretty far cry from the elaborate, ornate folk-pop that Sufjan is best-known for.

Aporia will be released by Asthmatic Kitty on March 27.

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