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1_Sufjan Stevens_Loew's Jersey Theatre

On Halloween 2015, I made my first ever first to the Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City, New Jersey, to see Sufjan Stevens one more time before he wrapped up the first leg of the tour for his stunning 2015 album, Carrie & Lowell (released via Asthmatic Kitty).

Even though I saw him three times earlier this year (at the Beacon Theatre, Kings Theatre, and Newport Folk Festival respectively) the Loew’s show was able to stand out on its own, just as all the other shows did. Although a majority of the songs we got were the same, their impact and emotional weight changed for both Sufjan and the audience. These are songs that speak to you differently based on your own emotional state and being, which makes their impact one that evolves and is forever changing. It also helps that the band give the material a more grand and experimental take live that is vastly different from the more stripped down recorded versions.
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Sufjan Stevens at Newport Folk Festival 2015

By Will Oliver, October 22nd 2015

1_Sufjan Stevens_Newport Folk Festival 2015

Before taking the stage at Newport Folk Festival, Sufjan Stevens noted that he was following James Taylor, no easy task. But Stevens is more than capable of holding his own alongside a folk legend such as Taylor, as he is well on his way as one of the best songwriters of this generation, by a mile.

Earlier in the year I caught Stevens at both The Beacon Theatre and The Kings Theatre, equally impressive performances that are both two of the finest shows I’ve caught all year. A festival is always a different element for an artist like Stevens, but of course he found a way to make it his own.

Being a folk festival, Stevens found time to work in some old favorites during his early folk-friendly days, such as “In The Devil’s Territory” and “The Dress Looks Nice On You.” Of course, these fit in alongside the exceptional cuts from his stellar Carrie & Lowell as well as beefed up versions of Illinois highlights such as “Come On! Feel The Illinoise!” and “Chicago,” which was played as different as I’ve ever heard it.

That’s the thing about Stevens, you never quite know what he will throw at you, but you’re always at ease knowing it’s going to be gold. This performance was no different.

Find some more photos from his Newport performance posted below.
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Sufjan Stevens at Kings Theatre (May 2, 2015)

By Will Oliver, May 7th 2015 — with 1 comment

Sufjan 1

What’s there to say about Sufjan Stevens and his beautiful new album Carrie & Lowell that hasn’t been said by everyone else? My love for the album is no secret, it’s already a heavy favorite to be my album of the year, and it’s only May. Of course things can change from now until December, but it’s going to take one hell of an album to dethrone Stevens’ latest masterpiece. Last month Stevens performed the first of his New York shows at at The Beacon Theatre, a performance so good that I made sure to catch one of his two return shows, this time at the newly opened and restored Kings Theatre in Brooklyn.

2_Sufjan Stevens_Kings Theatre
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Sufjan Stevens at The Beacon Theatre (April 11, 2015)

By Will Oliver, April 21st 2015 — with 3 comments


It’s not too often I’m drawn to see shows at big, old fashioned theaters such as the historic Beacon Theatre. Although the spaces are undoubtedly beautiful, some artists just aren’t meant to be seen at large spaces. Based upon the quiet and intimate nature of Sufjan Stevens’ pitch perfect new album Carrie & Lowell, you wouldn’t be wrong for being somewhat wary about seeing him at The Beacon. Yet, this is Sufjan Stevens, one of the best songwriters of our generation, playing what is likely to end up as one of the – if not the – best albums of the year. It was in fact, a match made in heaven.
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Sufjan Stevens

Tomorrow night Sufjan Stevens makes his live return to New York City for a sold out show at The Beacon Theatre. The show is likely to be one of the best of the entire year, as Sufjan will be playing tracks from his beautiful new album Carrie & Lowell, a likely contender on nearly every best of list this year.

I haven’t seen Sufjan perform live since his performance at Prospect Park in 2011, so it’s been a while. With this album being a return to his stripped-down folk roots, I’m expecting it to be a much different show than the one he presented with the electronic-influenced Age Of Adz.

The show is very much sold out, but there’s always secondary markets. He also plays The Kings Theatre for two nights in a row on May 1 & 2, but something tells me this will be the show to be at.

Sufjan Stevens – “I Should Have Known Better”

By Will Oliver, March 19th 2015

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens just knows how to speak to something deep within. His music always finds a way to break through any and all emotional boundaries, finding those deep hidden emotions that you thought you had tucked away from plain sight. Then you hear those poetic lyrics sung with his unbelievable vocals and stirring arrangements. You just can’t help it. You can’t fight it. It just takes over.

This feeling is basically the experience of “I Should Have Known Better,” the second track officially released from his soon to be released new album Carrie & Lowell, a record that we’ve been impatient;y waiting nearly half a decade for. It begins with a┬ábeautiful stirring whisper, but soon transforms into something a bit more exploratory, like something off of Illinois (the vocal arrangements) and Age Of Adz (the electronics).

It’s the sort of song that reminds us why Sufjan Stevens is one of the best artists of this era. It’s currently my favorite song off of Carrie & Lowell, but that may very well change over time. Either way, enjoy the song below and make sure you purchase this album from Asthmatic Kitty.
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Sufjan Stevens - No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross

My most anticipated record of the year is Carrie & Lowell, the long-awaited new album from Sufjan Stevens. It’s set for release on March 31 via Asthamatic Kitty Records. He announced the album last month which included a teaser trailer.

Today he’s shared with us the first track from the record: “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross.” It’s just Sufjan singing while strumming an acoustic guitar, but he’s able to summon so much out of so little. He paints a picture for us with his lyrics, which he whispers just as much as sings.

Pitchfork posted a very informative interview with Sufjan, where it’s learned that childhood trips to Oregon had heavy influence on the album – maybe a loose continuation of the 50 states project if you will (but Sufjan probably won’t like that).

I’ve had “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross” on repeat all day. I’m itching to hear the full product, one that I’m sure will be one of the best of the year. Stream it below (and find Sufjan’s upcoming tour dates).
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Sufjan Stevens Announces New Album: ‘Carrie & Lowell’

By Will Oliver, January 12th 2015 — with 1 comment

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

Believe it or not, it’s been five years’ since Sufjan Stevens released his last album, Age Of Adz. So it’s exciting news that Sufjan Stevens has announced a new album titled Carrie & Lowell. It will be released on March 31 via Asthmatic Kitty.

The album was named after Steven’s mother and stepfather, and features 11 songs about “life and death, love and loss, and the artist’s struggle to make sense of the beauty and ugliness of love.”

Longtime fans of Stevens may be pleased to learn that the album is being called a return to Steven’s folk roots. Age Of Adz, while a great album, dabbled into electronic territory, which may have turned some fans away who were used to his more folk-oriented work. And who knows, maybe he can work in some special Illinois shows with the eventual tour for the album, consider it’s the 10th anniversary of the classic.

Carrie & Lowell was recorded by Stevens along with Casey Foubert, Laura Veirs, Nedelle Torrisi, Sean Carey, Ben Lester and Thomas Bartlett.

Check out a beautiful album trailer that the label released below, featuring presumably a new track off the record. The album tracklist follows.
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Sufjan Stevens – A Little Lost (Arthur Russell Cover)

By Will Oliver, September 3rd 2014

Master Mix

On October 21 Red Hot will release a tribute album to Arthur Russell (Via Yep Roc) that is titled Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell. The compilation features covers from the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Hot Chip, Blood Orange, Jose Gonzalez, and Phosphorescent.

Sufjan Steven covered “A Little Lost” and he works his typical Sufjan Stevens magic on it, gearing it more towards his Age Of Adz sound. It’s a magical listen, a cover that does right by the original while still finding its own voice. Not an easy task, although Sufjan makes it seem that way.

Stream it below.
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Sisyphus, the trio collaboration consisting of Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, and Serengeti, are releasing their debut self-titled album March 18 via Asthmatic Kitty/Joyful Noise.

We already heard one cut from the album called “Calm It Down.” Over the weekend the trio shared a video for the track “Alcohol.” The track is a five and a half minute collection of various musical ideas combined to one interesting whole. The video shares this idea, collecting various images from pop culture to the very random.

Check it out below.
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