It’s been wet and miserable day. I’ve been laid up with a busted calf (or achilles) and it’s the perfect reason to be moody.
Today, I give you the second #MoodyMonday. With the imminent arrival of Sufjan Steven’s seventh album, Carrie & Lowell (released tomorrow), I have jumped the gun (along with 50,000 others) and listened to the exclusive stream on The Guardian’s site.
His record label suggests ridding yourself of all distractions, putting on some good headphones and listening to this whole album.
So, I did.
It’s powerful, personal and dare I say it….moody. Steven’s voice is so intimate and direct. He doesn’t pull any punches in revealing parts of himself that many would keep private. The album is essentially about his mother (and stepfather). His mother passed away from cancer in 2012 and Steven’s Christianity is ever-present in this album…and there’s nothing wrong with that. Not many would be brave enough to say the things that he says on this album and to do it in front of the world.
It’s a delicate mix of acoustic guitar, banjo, piano and harmonies from himself. It’s a long way off from the eclecticism of The Age of Adz. You could call this another concept album from Sufjan Stevens, who once proclaimed he would release an album for every state of the USA.
It’s deep and dark at times, “…on the Fourth of July…we’re all gonna die…” (Fourth of July), or “…should I tear my heart out now. Everything I feel turns to you somehow…” (The Only Thing), but then it turns hopeful and positive. “..I love you more than the world can contain in it’s lonely and ramshackle head…” (John my Beloved)
If you have a chance, really listen to this album and tell me that it doesn’t touch you in some way.