Video Game (4:16)4. (Pitchfork earns a commission from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.). God? The Ascension will be available on streaming, digital, CD, cassette, 2xLP black vinyl, and first-pressing 2xLP clear vinyl with tip-on gatefold. White dog painting by Earl Swanigan. Ativan (6:32)8. One of the most acclaimed albums of 2015, The New York Times praised Carrie & Lowell as "restrained and meticulous" while Pitchfork declared it â¦ Music Review: Sufjan Stevens - The Ascension. Stevens attempted something similar on another major pivot, 2010’s The Age of Adz. Once in a while, Stevens lands on something magical and his writing transcends. Tell Me You Love Me (4:22)6. Artist: Sufjan Stevens. Multiple songs discuss crises of faith and coming apocalypses, and they employ their pop choruses to offset the gravity, to place his stories in the present tense, to give us something to dance to. Corporate attention? Genre: Singer / Songwriter. The Ascension, in comparison, is spare and sad, purposefully repetitive and almost entirely down-tempo. It leads to seductions (“Make love to me/Surrender your spirit/Sing my eulogy”), threats (“Go on wipe that look off your face”), and bare confessions. Tweet. In these moments, the steady slow-burn pays off. CD and vinyl include a 16-page booklet of original drawings by Sufjan Stevens. In its search for direction, The Ascension fares best when Stevens looks inward. The whole thing works best when you approach it like a big-budget IMAX movie set in space with a great leading actor: Don’t get too hung up on the plot—just tilt back your head and watch him float. The Ascension is expectedly deep and rich, but it still offers surprises in Stevensâ biting, moodier voice and more pared down arrangements. He lets you in on the feeling of breaking free from something heavy and monotonous pulling you under. The Ascension. getting off the internet and buying a tractor. Ursa Major (3:43)9. All songs written, recorded and produced by Sufjan Stevens. Includes unlimited streaming of The Ascension via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Run away with me. âThereâs no time for innocence,â Sufjan Stevens sings on the opening track of The Ascension, his first solo album since 2015âs Carrie & Lowell. The majority of the album was recorded with a drum machine and several Prophet synthesizers while Stevens’ more characteristic equipment—acoustic guitars and banjos—were in storage during a move. Consciously or not, these songs follow a similarly picturesque voyage, zooming out from the daily grind toward the kinds of refrains that have become pop music clichés, largely because of how good they feel to say and hear: I wanna love you. Sufjan Stevens The Ascension Jeremy Allen, September 25th, 2020 07:50 A collection of sci-fi torch songs and cyborg songs of praise, Sufjan Stevens latest is a densely packed package, finds Jeremy Allen A new Sufjan Stevens album comes but once every five years, landing down your chimney like a magic sack from a quinquennial Santa. “To think I was acting like a believer,” he sings in his feathery, heartbroken way, “when I was just angry and depressed.” It is the only song on the album that fits squarely into his comfort zone, where questions of life and death feel as intimate as the words to a love song. At the same time, the compositions on Adz were a continuation of his more symphonic work, surrounding his voice with countermelodies and choirs, building to flute-accompanied crescendos and multi-part epics. Many of its arrangements evoke steep, neon-lit half-pipes that Stevens glides up and down, sometimes shouting along the way and other times muttering anxiously to himself. Includes 2xLP in clear vinyl and 16-page booklet of original drawings by Sufjan Stevens. With that good will rebuilt, The Ascension tries being experimental again, and it gets halfway there. Sufjan Stevens - The Ascension Regular price $25.00 LP (First-pressing clear vinyl) - Out of stock LP (Black vinyl) - $25.00 USD Tape - Out of stock CD - $12.00 USD It is exhaustive and dense and detailed—which, of course, is nothing new. Celebrity? Rajneesh portrait by Stephen Halker. Die Happy (5:47)7. Not to mention, he’s been here before, and too few of these thoughts approach the prayer-like resonance of, say, “All things go,” or “I want to be well,” or “We’re all gonna die.”. Exhaustive, dense, and detailed, Sufjan Stevens’ electro-opus is another huge artistic leap that speaks plainly to complicated emotions and attempts to rebuild his sound from the ground up. “Every song title on the album is a cliche,” he admitted to The Quietus. Over the years, Sufjan Stevens has explored and expanded upon the mythology of â¦ The Good: The Ascension is one of Sufjan Stevensâ grandest, most ambitious works yet, and thatâs quite the feat considering heâs one of the most ambitious musicians in his genre. The cerebral, ambitious songwriter—whose tracklists once looked like stage directions to a quirky play—now seems intent on speaking directly, sweeping you away with him. He shouts out a character from King Lear. It makes sense that he would follow it with something less revealing, more open to interpretation. The high points are extremely high, with opener "Make Me an Offer I Cannot Refuse" and closer "America" being two of Sufjan's best openers and â¦ Thereâs always a notable air of excitement when a new, song-based album by Sufjan Stevens is announced, but itâs not something heâs massively focused on of late. “I also think this record, because it is political and bossy and bitchy,” Stevens told The Atlantic, “needed to be somewhat fun, sonically.”, But despite its allusions to pop music escapism, The Ascension is, by design, kind of a drag: a dark and emotionally distant mood piece whose lyrics rarely touch on the specifics necessary to anchor the music, and whose music is rarely exciting enough to elevate his words. Run Away With Me (4:07)3. âI shouldnât have looked for revelation,â Sufjan Stevens sings on âThe Ascension.â âI should have resigned myself to this.â For 20 years, Stevensâs songsâtheir genres â¦ Sign up for the 10 to Hear newsletter here. Along the way, there are slow jams and dancefloor singalongs, a panic attack set to creeping industrial music and what sounds like Stevens’ score for a campy ’80s horror movie. All this publication's reviews Includes 2xLP in clear vinyl and 16-page booklet of original drawings by Sufjan Stevens. “But now,” he sings in the most heart-tugging reaches of his falsetto, “it strikes me far too late again/That I was asking far too much of everyone around me.” Whatever perspective he may be singing from, he sounds tapped into something elemental, filled with purpose and clarity, following wherever his vision leads. 25 September 2020 . And while The Ascension lacks the direct throughline of these high-water marks, it is another huge leap, an attempt at rebuilding his sound from the ground up. How Sufjan Stevens made an upbeat album about the 'crisis of humanity' Sufjan Stevens' The Ascension , his first solo record in five years, is â¦ Pitchfork is the most trusted voice in music. Sufjan Stevens repeats that line like it's more a mantra than a chorus on "America," the 12 â¦ Stevens has spoken about feeling emotionally depleted after making Carrie & Lowell, a quiet album that uncovered childhood trauma with vivid memories and hushed, acoustic arrangements. âThe Ascensionâ is the (eponymous) fourteenth track from Sufjan Stevens' eighth studio album. Sufjan (who owns the label) was also involved at every step, at least as much as he was able, from plant selection to pressing quantities to color, and of course to packaging. Sufjan Stevens announced "The Ascension", successor of "Carrie & Lowel" and collaborative project "Aporia" with Lowell Brams, to be released on September 25th though Asthmatic Kitty. The Ascension â Sufjan Stevens The Ascension, Sufjan Stevenâs eighth studio album, is the kind of music designed to be listened to with headphones in and the volume turned up loud. The title track on The Ascension is one of the best songs Sufjan Stevens has ever written. It’s one of the first things that strikes you about this blocky, electronic music—the pared-down language and echoed refrains from radio hits and pop culture. He finds momentum in the bittersweet “Goodbye to All That,” returning to one his most familiar settings: on the road, despondent, “hopelessness incorporated.” And just before the sweeping curtain call of “America,” there’s the title track—the point when Stevens accepts his strengths and speaks to the moment. My Rajneesh (10:29). The Ascension is the eighth studio album by American musician Sufjan Stevens. The Ascension is the eighth studio album from singer, songwriter and composer Sufjan Stevens and is the long awaited follow-up to Stevens' Carrie & Lowell. “...I’m desperate for some kind of platitude that tells me where to go, and how to go about my business in a way that’s healthy and sustainable.” It’s a relatable anxiety, although, purposefully or not, he mostly sounds stuck in place. The Ascension fares best when Stevens looks inward. Label: Asthmatic Kitty. Sufjan Stevens performs at the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco, 2016. Cover art and album design by Sufjan Stevens. America (12:30)Side B2. Sufjan Stevens nods to it here, with a song named in its honour, chronicling his own escape from New York.. She wrote it in a year of spiritual crisis, a âtotal withdrawal from all the dysfunctions and delusions of our present human conditionâ. Gilgamesh (3:50)11. This happens in the final 70 seconds of the otherwise dirge-like “Tell Me You Love Me,” and it happens again in “Landslide,” when he wails the title in a desperate warble, incorporating his own vocals into the arrangement like a sample. “America” will be available as a 12-inch 45rpm single with “My Rajneesh” on side B. Although The Ascension is more depressing than the madcap Adz, its approach does call to mind Stevensâs 2010â11 tour, for which he employed backup dancers while clad in neon. The record comprises 15 new songs, and comes with a 16-paged booklet with Stevens' drawings. âI feel a universal dread that I had never felt before,â Sufjan Stevens confessed in an interview with Pitchfork in 2017, two years after the personal reckoning of Carrie & Lowell, his last song-based album, and an intimate reflection on the death of his mother. Eagle and snake and all other tattoo art by Michael Evangelista. Make Me An Offer I Cannot Refuse (5:19)2. America (12:30). CONTACT: US PUBLICITY // EU PUBLICITY // RADIO // LICENSING // MANAGEMENT // LABEL. The title track on The Ascension is one of the best songs Sufjan Stevens has ever written. Catch up every Saturday with 10 of our best-reviewed albums of the week. The Ascension will be available on streaming, digital, CD, cassette, 2xLP black vinyl, and first-pressing 2xLP clear vinyl with tip-on gatefold. He rhymes “confess” with “confess.” He declares life to be meaningless—and he sounds like he means it. Death Star (4:04)12. A fitting question for a year marked by unrest, inequality, and [â¦] The Ascension (5:56)15. Sufjan Stevens â The Ascension (Asthmatic Kitty) UK release date: 25 September 2020. by Steven Johnson published: 23 Sep 2020 in Album Reviews. He sounds like himself. Sugar (7:37)14. THE ASCENSION // SUGAR // VIDEO GAME // AMERICA // RELEASE CALENDAR // STORE // TUMBLR, 1. Asthmatic Kitty . Sufjan calls The Ascension his protest album, but itâs also the closest thing to pop music heâs ever made. Limited to 1,500 worldwide.All songs written, recorded and produced by Sufjan Stevens. In those songs, he sang over buzzing synths and clattering rhythms, gravitated toward conversational language, and steered away from the nuanced storytelling and character studies of his past. Album: Sufjan Stevens The Ascension ~ words by Kristin Robinson âWhat now?â Sung in refrain during the minutes-long outro of the albumâs penultimate track, Sufjan Stevensâ long awaited follow-up to the record Carrie & Lowell (2016), The Ascension, shows the artist/producer struggling for answers. What exactly is Sufjan Stevens ascending on his latest album? ships out within 7 days Credit: Press When Sufjan Stevens first wrote âAmericaâ, the lead single for his eighth studio album âThe Ascensionâ, he shelved it. Goodbye to all that, goes the Joan Didion essay about endings. Goodbye To All That (3:48)13. It was released through Asthmatic Kitty on September 25, 2020. It felt new for him but still played to his strengths: heartfelt, ecstatic, too much. This current political moment? Limited edition pressed on clear vinyl issued with tip-on gatefold sleeve with a 16-page booklet of original drawings by Sufjan Stevens, download card and printed inner sleeves. A song called “Die Happy” features just one lyric—“I want to die happy”—which he sings over and over, relying on the twists and layers of synths to add new dimensions to his mantra. Tell me you love me. Landslide (5:04)10. He reviewed all test presses from all plants, and received some QC copies (at least from IRP) and approved all these as well. Cover art and album design by Sufjan Stevens. Includes unlimited streaming of The Ascension via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Leaving his longtime Brooklyn home for a more scenic and remote spot in the Catskills, the 45-year-old songwriter found new hobbies, like getting off the internet and buying a tractor. Some copies included an additional The Ascension insert 17092020. Accompanying himself on keyboard with a sad, pulsing melody, Stevens uses precise and empathetic language to address faith and hopelessness, regret and revelations. From his 2005 breakthrough Illinois to his last proper solo album, 2015’s grief-stricken Carrie & Lowell, Stevens has always worked best when he immerses himself in his subjects, encouraging the same devotion from listeners. Side A1. Lamentations (3:42)5. Also worth noting: It takes more than an hour to get here. At one point, he sings in a breathy whisper, “I shit my pants and wet the bed”—a hard thing to imagine coming from a performer who has worn enormous angel wings on stage. The Ascension Sufjan Stevens . CD and vinyl include a 16-page booklet of original drawings by Sufjan Stevens.All songs written, recorded and produced by Sufjan Stevens. Written at the â¦ Layout, design and typography by Sufjan Stevens.
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