Sufjan Explosion! New Songs Debuted Live

Sufjan Related Things Happened This Week
At a recent concert in Ithaca, NY, everyones favorite Michigan bred musician debuted several new songs (like a couple other awesome musicians)...and the internet went nuts. The man hasn't written a proper album in 4 years and counting, though he has released a superb collection of Illinoise era b-sides, an epic collection of christmas songs, a long orchestral piece with visual accompaniment and a string quartet reworking of his 2001 electronica album, Enjoy Your Rabbit. While that may seem like a lot of output for most artists (and it is, certainly), it is ultimately unsatisfying coming from a man who is so gifted at the art of crafting albums proper.

All that being said, the most dynamic of the three new tracks he debuted, entitled "There's Too Much Love," doesn't find Mr. Stevens exploring new territory as much as combining all of his old ventures into one grand epic work. This formula isn't even entirely new for Sufjan, as his contribution to compilation-of-the-year-contender Dark Was the Night, entitled "You are the Blood," suggests a similar approach. However, whereas "You Are the Blood" sounds more apocalyptic than anything else, "There's Too Much Love" is downright catchy at its core (at least the first half is). It certainly unites the majority of Sufjanisms including self-critical/conscious lyrics, electronica, a combination male/female vocals, a plethora of harmonies and vocal echoes (feat. Cryptacize's Nedelle Torrisi), fusion orchestral-and-pop arrangements, measured instrumental chaos for compositional counterpoint, jazz instrumental interludes etc. The first half of the song sounds big and inclusive in the vein of Illinoise, until it drops into a more intimate, reflective Seven Swans type instrumental (with the brass section doing their best be-bop impression) during the second half. Not to mention the song itself is seven minutes long, which is a length Sufjan has more often than not transcended since he began playing (the heartbreakingly gorgeous) "Majesty Snowbird" live a few years ago. See for yourself:

If you like it and want more, here are videos + mp3s of the other two songs, courtesy of jp'sblog. And if that still doesn't complete your Sufjan fix, you can read his interview of former bandmate Shannon Stephens, who released her first album in 10 years on Asthmatic Kitty this week.

Sufjan Stevens - "You Are the Blood" - Dark Was the Night
Sufjan Stevens - "There's Too Much Love (live)" - Unreleased


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