My Monday was significantly brightened by the news that Sufjan Stevens is releasing a new full-length album this Spring. I’ve been a fan of his music for probably a solid decade. For those unfamiliar with him and his work, I’ll just say he could definitely be classified as “out there.” He has done some pretty experimental stuff that I didn’t really connect with, but several of his albums are on my “enduring classics” list. I could listen to Seven Swans, Illinoise and Michigan on repeat. It’s desert island stuff. And his Christmas collection, Songs for Christmas, is now a staple of my Christmas music library… and should be on my desert island list, as well, because you don’t know how long you may be stuck on said island. You’d be kicking yourself if December rolled around and you didn’t have any holiday tunes. I digress.
Stevens’ music is unique, intricate, and layered; the lyrics poetic and thought-provoking. I really enjoy his take on relationships, places, and faith. My favorite songs of his ponder ideas of love, regret, faith, doubt, joy, pain, truth, and just the human experience with vivid imagery and tenderness. A number of his songs contain distinct biblical references, yet his music is not categorically “Christian.” One of my very favorites is Vito’s Ordination Song; to me it conveys perfectly God’s love and knowledge of us as well as Jesus’ earthly purpose- to make amends. Love, love, love it.
And when you write a poem
I know the words, I know the sounds
Before you write it down
When you wear your clothes
I wear them too, I wear your shoes
And the jacket too
I always knew you
In your mothers arms
I have called you son
I’ve made amends
Between father and son
Or if you haven’t one
Rest in my arms
Sleep in my bed
There’s a design
To what I did and said
Other songs of his just make me smile with playful horns, casual choral arrangements, even the titles. Who couldn’t get behind a Christmas song called, “Come on! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!“??? Clearly the fan who made this awesome video is ALL IN.
This music is not for everyone, but it is right up my alley. If you enjoy walking on the quirkier, more eclectic side with your music, Sufjan Stevens is sure to please.
I can’t wait for Carrie and Lowell.