Sufjan’s “Video Game” Available Now

August 13th, 2020 , by

Today Sufjan is debuting “Video Game,” the second single from his forthcoming album The Ascension. The video, directed by Nicole Ginelli, stars Atlanta-based dancer and choreographer Jalaiah Harmon, creator of the Renegade dance.

“The process of making this video compared to my other projects was a little more challenging because I was asked to create choreography for the whole song, instead of the 15-30 second song clips I usually get,” says Jalaiah. “I was a little nervous in the beginning, but once I really broke the song into parts and listened to the lyrics over and over, I just put moves together that connected to the words and felt natural for me to do. I think I’m still really trying to get used to this kind of success, so I can’t really define it just yet. I just know that when you work hard and you treat others with kindness and fairness, good things come back to you.”  

“I was inspired by how much Jalaiah loves to perform,” says Nicole. “She brings such a powerful and specific energy, it’s infectious. I wanted to make something defiantly joyous, and to show what it looks like to reclaim agency, strength and moves in order to take control of one’s own projections and imagery.”

Here’s Sufjan on the song and video:

It’s unfortunate that we live in a society where the value of people is quantified by likes, followers, listeners and views. So many people are seeking attention for the wrong reasons. I think we should all be doing our best work without looking for accolades or seeking reward.

The main takeaway of “Video Game” for me is: your worth (invaluable) should never be based on other people’s approval (ephemeral). Just be yourself. Keep it real. Keep it moving. Do all things with absolute purity, love and joy. And always do your best.

Jalaiah epitomizes all of this and I’m truly inspired by her. So I thought, “what if we could get Jalaiah to star in a ‘dance video’ about not wanting to star in a ‘dance video’?” I’m so honored she agreed. She clearly owns it, and her work here is beautiful, poignant and true.

Her dance shows incredible energy, work-ethic and spirit. She is dancing for herself, not anyone else. Her choreography is sophisticated, nuanced, and fun. She is a star. She keeps it real. She keeps it moving. She keeps it true. 

The Ascension arrives on digital and streaming platforms on September 25 and via CD/LP/Tape on October 2nd. You can pre-order it here, at your local record store, or pre-save it digitally here.

“My Rajneesh” by Sufjan Stevens available now

July 10th, 2020 , by

“My Rajneesh,” the B-Side to the 12-inch single of “America” culled from the sessions for Carrie & Lowell, is out on digital platforms today. You can hear it below, or on your preferred digital platform by clicking here.

The 12-inch 45rpm is out in record stores on July 31st. Check with your local store for availability.

“America,” the first single from Sufjan’s new album, available now

July 3rd, 2020 , by

“America,” the album’s debut single, is out now alongside a video filmed by Sufjan. 

Stream “America” and pre-order the album here

Watch the video on YouTube here, or here:

“America,” and in turn The Ascension, is an indictment of a world crumbling around us—and a roadmap out of here. 

Sufjan says the foundations of The Ascension are “a call for personal transformation and a refusal to play along with the systems around us.” And its first single stands as “a protest song against the sickness of American culture in particular.”

“America” may feel apt for the times, but it was written six years ago, originally worked on during the making of Carrie & Lowell (its forthcoming B-side, “My Rajneesh” was culled from these sessions as well).

“I was dumbfounded by the song when I first wrote it,” Sufjan says. “Because it felt vaguely mean-spirited and miles away from everything else on Carrie & Lowell. So I shelved it.”

“But when I dug up the demo a few years later I was shocked by its prescience. I could no longer dismiss it as angry and glib. The song was clearly articulating something prophetic and true, even if I hadn’t been able to identify it at the time. That’s when I saw a clear path toward what I had to do next.”

Sufjan then re-recorded the song and spent the next two years writing and recording the rest of the material on The Ascension almost entirely by himself on his computer, working mostly with a drum machine and handful of synthesizers, using “America” as its thematic template. 

Sufjan says: “My objective for this album was simple: Interrogate the world around you. Question anything that doesn’t hold water. Exterminate all bullshit. Be part of the solution or get out of the way. Keep it real. Keep it true. Keep it simple. Keep it moving.”

The result is The Ascension, a “lush, editorial pop album,” as Sufjan describes it, that finds us all at a “terrifying crossroad.” 

“America” with “My Rajneesh” on Side B is out as a 12-inch single July 31. We will be releasing “My Rajneesh” released digitally next Friday July 10. 

We will have very limited quantities of the 12-inch for pre-order here at 9:30AM EDT. 

Local record stores will also be stocking quantities. 

Local record stores are also stocking the first-pressing edition with clear 2xLP vinyl and tip-on gatefold. Check for your store here. We’ll have some in stock at our store at 9:30AM EDT here. If you are in Europe please check our official store here to save on shipping.

Announcing The Ascension, a new studio album by Sufjan Stevens, available September 25.

June 30th, 2020 , by

Important note: CD/LP/Tape release date moved to October 2nd due to COVID-19 related manufacturing and logistics delays. Digital and streaming is still set for release on September 25th.

Track listing:

  1. Make Me An Offer I Cannot Refuse (5:19)
  2. Run Away With Me (4:07)
  3. Video Game (4:16)
  4. Lamentations (3:42)
  5. Tell Me You Love Me (4:22)
  6. Die Happy (5:47)
  7. Ativan (6:32)
  8. Ursa Major (3:43)
  9. Landslide (5:04)
  10. Gilgamesh (3:50)
  11. Death Star (4:04)
  12. Goodbye To All That (3:48)
  13. Sugar (7:37)
  14. The Ascension (5:56)
  15. America (12:30)

All songs written, recorded and produced by Sufjan Stevens. 
Cover art and album design by Sufjan Stevens.

Info and pre-orders for UK/EU available here.

Info and pre-orders for US and rest of world available here

Subscribe to the YouTube Premiere of “America” here

Denison Witmer’s New Album, American Foursquare, Out Now

May 8th, 2020 , by

“Every day before me is a god.”

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“Santa Barbara:” New Music from Angelo De Augustine

April 21st, 2020 , by

About a year ago Angelo De Augustine released Tomb on AKR. Later in 2019, Angelo returned to New York City for a short stint to write and record some more new music.

“Santa Barbara” is the first song released from that session of writing and recording. It features Sufjan on guitar and background vocals. Thanks to Rolling Stone for premiering the song here.

You can read more about the song here, or you can watch the video below, made by Angelo himself using a Super 8 camera on a California beach earlier this year. To listen on your preferred platform, click here.

“San Francisco,” a New Song From Denison Witmer

April 17th, 2020 , by

Denison Witmer’s new album, American Foursquare, is out on May 8th. Today though, Denison has released another song from that project, “San Francisco.”

“San Francisco” finds Denison dreaming about an escape to the Redwood Forest in Northern California. Says Denison: “The Redwoods are my water level. The scale and timelessness of them helps me better understand my own life’s scale and timeline. I feel simultaneously young and old, naive and full of understanding.”

You can hear the song above, or on your favorite platform here. And if you pre-order at Bandcamp here, you’ll receive an exclusive version of “River of Music.”

Here are the lyrics:

Maybe I should book a flight to San Francisco
Rent a car and drive up through the redwood trees
Where they stand in silence high above my sorrow
There’s a message there for you and one for me

I see the child in myself as I get older
Still feeling every age that I have ever been
And I have joy when the light breaks through the shoulders
Of the Pacific giants swaying in the wind
I have a lifetime swaying in my mind again

I think I’m grieving the death of part of me
I think I’m leaving, won’t you come with me
I think I’m grieving the death of part of me
I think I’m leaving, won’t you come with me

It’s everything I’ve got
It’s not everything I need
It’s ok
I made my bed here, baby
This is where I stay

It’s everything I know
It’s not all that I believe
It’s ok
I made my bed here, baby
This is where I lay

New Music from Denison Witmer: “Catalina Love”

April 2nd, 2020 , by

Denison Witmer has released “Catalina Love” which you can hear on digital streaming platforms anywhere, or watch the video above. The album, American Foursquare, is out digitally on May 8th.

We all lose someone or something sometime, and this is why this new song is so important right now. In singing to very specific people about a very specific loss—close friends about the death of their 4-month-old baby—Denison is really singing to and for us all.

“Catalina Love is about coming to terms with things that turn out differently than we had planned,” says Denison. “When I am at a loss for words, I usually retreat into a mental space where I have more questions than answers. It’s a type of grief that leaves me wondering things like, ‘Am I the only one who feels this way? Where do I go from here?’”

This tender, careful, yet resilient song reminds us that we all have a love that is lost to us, we are all trying to let go but we just can’t. Every deep loss both compresses and lengthens the passage of time, God’s hand swings low far too often, and at some point, all of us will have walk up to the cliff of our own Catalina Island to give up our tears and let the ashes fall into the waves below.

Here are the lyrics for the song:

I don’t have another choice
I’m living in the void
When I think about you lately
My head fills up with noise

You left here two months ago
I saw the hand of God swing low
And the garden I had planted
Was covered in the snow

How am I going to let you know that I need your love?
How am I going to let you go Catalina Love?

Everything around went black
I sat up in the flash
Was it just me who heard it?
Is it just me who knows?

There are things I’ll never say
It will always be that way
Forever in your memory
Forever on your face

How am I going to let you know that I need your love?
How am I going to let you go Catalina Love?

I have a special place
A place that’s just my own
My namesake’s ash and bones
Are buried in the waves

Sufjan & Lowell’s Aporia Out Now

March 23rd, 2020 , by

Check your local record store today for physical copies

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“Climb That Mountain,” single from Sufjan and Lowell’s Aporia available now

March 11th, 2020 , by

Sufjan Stevens’s and Lowell Brams’s instrumental new age album, Aporia, is available at record stores and your favorite digital platform on March 27, 2020. 

Today we’re proud to introduce another single: “Climb That Mountain.”

You can also watch the promo video and hear the first single, “The Unlimited,” here, or watch the video for “The Runaround” here.

Aporia is out March 27th. You can pre-order the limited edition yellow LP, yellow cassette, or CD here.

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