October 9th, 2019 , by John Beeler
Here’s some good news: in November we’re releasing a brand new Half-handed Cloud double vinyl compilation of sixty newly-mastered, non-LP singles from the band’s second decade (2010-2019), Gathered Out Of Thin Air.
And today, Half-handed Cloud (John Ringhofer) is debuting three songs from the forthcoming compilation, with more songs to come in the following weeks (so stay tuned).
Three new singles are available on your favorite streaming platform, here. Watch a video from Half-handed Cloud for “Here We Go Transformation” here:
The themes and locations in this portable song library (with its card catalog-referencing artwork) are as interesting and varied as the formats. For example, one song cluster documents the compositions that were commissioned for a 2008 live printmaking event in London, which had Ringhofer leading group sing-a-longs from the wobbly surface of a giant 12-foot spinning plywood record player (#2-8). Half-handed Cloud recorded one of the songs to benefit breast cancer research (#15). Other songs wrestle with the complicated history of 16th century exploration (#10-14), or are intended as devotionals for walking (#38-44).
There’s even a whole EP’s worth of Christmas songs (#53-60), summoned here from various compilations from the last decade, including one (#59) that was recently turned into the grand theme for hit alternate Y2K internet simulation video game Hypnospace Outlaw.
Pre-orders for the 2xLP from Asthmatic Kitty include a complimentary limited set of four Gathered Out Of Thin Air bookmarks, and access to all of the MP3s as we release them.
You can preorder the 2xLP at our online shop here, or at your favorite record store.
October 4th, 2019 , by John Beeler
A couple of weeks ago, we announced The Decalogue, a recording of Sufjan’s score for Justin Peck’s ballet of the same name, performed by pianist Timo Andres.
Today you can hear “IV,” the fourth etude of ten on The Decalogue, on your usual digital streaming platform, or on YouTube with animation by Stephen Halker of Unreasonable Studios here.
You can also listen on your favorite streaming platform here.
We’re releasing The Decalogue digitally and on limited deluxe vinyl edition on October 18th. You’ll be able to find it at your favorite local record store, or you can preorder it here.
The deluxe edition includes a 40-page song chart book.
Below are the charts for “IV.”
September 27th, 2019 , by John Beeler
This fall, Denison Witmer will release the first two singles from his 12thLP, American Foursquare,on Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty Records, with follow-up singles in the beginning of 2020.
The full album will be available digitally and physically in Spring 2020.
American Foursquareis a meditation on empathy, on love, and on the meaning of home.
Denison began writing American Foursquare after he and his family relocated from Philadelphia to his hometown of Lancaster in 2014, trading their 800-square-foot row home for a 100-year-old house on the edge of Lancaster City. Denison wrote and recorded the songs as a response to the major life changes of moving and domestication, all the while taking a general hiatus from music to start a carpentry business and spend time with his wife and small children.
Denison named the record after the architectural style of the “new” house. Designed in reaction to the ornament of late-nineteenth century architecture, the foursquare emphasizes simplicity and function, with an open four-by-four room layout and a balanced, boxy shape. It’s one of the most common styles of American architecture.
As Denison wrote and recorded these songs, the simplicity, ubiquity, and plain-spoken utilitarianism of the American Foursquare house became a centering stand-in metaphor for many of the themes on the record: loss, change, settling, transition.
Denison began recording American Foursquare with Thomas Bartlett (Sufjan Stevens, The National, Norah Jones) and finished/mixed in Seattle, WA with Andy Park (Death Cab For Cutie, Pedro The Lion, Noah Gundersen) with additional string arrangements and vocals by Abby Gundersen and electric guitar and mandolin by Aaron Campbell.
September 17th, 2019 , by John Beeler
On October 18th, Sufjan will release his score for Justin Peck’s ballet The Decalogue —ten etudes for solo piano—on digital platforms and a vinyl deluxe edition. CD and standard edition vinyl will follow on December 6, 2019.
You can watch a trailer for the recording above, or the first track release from The Decalogue, “III,” below.
The Decalogue is the fifth collaboration between New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer Peck and Sufjan, following 2012’s Year of the Rabbit, 2014’s Everywhere We Go, 2016’s The Countenance of Kings and most recently, 2019’s Principia.
Performed by the pianist Timo Andres, this recording of The Decalogue is the first time the score, originally premiered during the New York City Ballet’s 2017 season, is available to the public.
Brooklyn-based composer-pianist Timo Andres has written major works for the Boston Symphony, Carnegie Hall, the Barbican, the Takács Quartet, the Concertgebouw, and elsewhere. He performs regularly with Gabriel Kahane, and has frequently appeared with Philip Glass, Becca Stevens, Nadia Sirota, the Kronos Quartet, John Adams, Ted Hearne, and others.
As a pianist, Timo has performed at Lincoln Center, for the New York Philharmonic, the LA Phil, at Wigmore Hall, for San Francisco Performances, and at (le) Poisson Rouge. Upcoming highlights include a curated program for the Cincinnati Symphony (featuring Dance Heginbotham and a performance of Andres’s cello concerto, Upstate Obscura), and a solo piano recital for Carnegie Hall. Previous work with Sufjan includes the orchestration of Principia.
The deluxe, limited edition of The Decalogue includes a Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket, 180-gram vinyl, a 40-page song chart book, a monotype print from visual artist Charlotte de Mezamat, and a download card. If purchased directly from AKR, the deluxe edition also includes a 20-page 12×12 photo booklet.
Preorder the album from AKR here, or check with your favorite local record store.
Sufjan has also released a short trailer, and “III,” the third track from The Decalogue. Both pull iconography from the design of The Decalogue physical product and set to visuals by frequent collaborator Stephen Halker of Unreasonable Studios.
May 28th, 2019 , by John Beeler
In celebration of Pride Month, Sufjan Stevens is releasing two new songs today on the topic of love: “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart,” available now on digital/streaming platforms, and on limited-edition 7” vinyl on June 28.
A portion of the proceeds from this project will go to two organizations that provide support for LGBTQ and homeless kids in America—the Ali Forney Center in Harlem, NY and the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, MI.
“Love Yourself” is based on a sketch Stevens wrote 20 years ago. The original 4-track demo he recorded in 1996 is included as well as a short instrumental reprise. “With My Whole Heart” is a completely new song that Stevens wrote as a personal challenge to “write an upbeat and sincere love song without conflict, anxiety or self-deprecation.”
Sufjan also designed a Pride T-shirt that is available exclusively on his new merchandizing platform Sufjamz. You can preorder the shirt (along with a 7 inch of “Love Yourself/With My Whole Heart”) on Sufjamz.com here.
For all the links, please visit loveyourself-withmywholeheart.sufjan.com.
January 4th, 2019 , by John Beeler
We’re proud to share a new live video of a new song from Angelo De Augustine recorded at Reservoir Studios with Sufjan Stevens.
Angelo’s new album, Tomb, is out today, January 11th, and on CD/LP and in record stores on Friday January 25th. Listen via your favorite digital service here.
The track off his upcoming album Tomb, produced by Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman; credits include work on albums for St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens, Glen Hansard, and Rhye). Here’s the album version:
“You Needed Love I Needed You” is the fifth track released ahead of Tomb, following lead single “Time” and additional songs “Tomb,” “Kaitlin,” and “Somewhere Far Away From Home.” A video of “Time,” also performed live with Sufjan Stevens Reservoir Studios (where the album was recorded), can be seen here.
Angelo will overseas for a tour of the UK and Europe next month, but first will perform in the Los Angeles-area at Marty’s on Newport in Tustin, CA on February 13th. Additional 2019 live dates in support of Tomb will be announced soon.
Angelo De Augustine 2019 Tour Dates:
02/13/19 – Tustin, CA @ Marty’s On Newport
02/17/19 – Bristol, UK @ The Folk House
02/18/19 – London, UK @ Oslo
02/20/19 – Stockholm, SE @ Obaren
02/21/19 – Copenhagen, DE @ JOURNEY fest at Loppen w/ Jade Bird, Odetta Hartman
02/23/19 – Utrecht, NL @ TivoliVredenburg, Club Nine
02/24/19 – Ghent, BE @ Democrazy
02/25/19 – Paris, FR @ Le Pop Up du Label
02/26/19 – Amsterdam, NL @ Upstairs at Paradiso
02/27/19 – Berlin, DE @ Privatclub
02/28/19 – Malmo, SE @ Babel (Bar)
November 13th, 2018 , by John Beeler
Angelo De Augustine today shared a video for the title track of his new album, Tomb, along with a video directed by Jess Collins, featuring shots of Angelo in the hills of California.
The video follows The FADER premiere of an intimate live video of lead single “Time,” featuring Sufjan Stevens on grand piano and filmed in Manhattan’s Reservoir Studios (where Tomb was also recorded), released alongside the album version.
Tomb, the album, arrives in stores and on streaming platforms in January. We have limited edition red and yellow vinyl available for preorder here.
We’re also pleased to announce a tour in February
Angelo De Augustine tour dates:
02/17/19 – Bristol, UK @ The Folk House (Tickets)
02/18/19 – London, UK @ Oslo
02/20/19 – Stockholm, SE @ Obaren
02/21/19 – Copenhagen, DK @ Loppen
02/23/19 – Utrecht, NL @ TivoliVredenburg, Club Nine (Tickets)
02/24/19 – Ghent, BE @ Democrazy (Tickets)
02/25/19 – Paris, FR @ Le Pop Up du Label (Tickets)
02/26/19 – Amsterdam, NL @ Upstairs at Paradiso (Tickets)
02/27/19 – Berlin, DE @ Privatclub (Tickets)
02/28/19 – Malmo, SE @ Babel (Bar) (Tickets)
November 8th, 2018 , by John Beeler
On November 9 we are proud to release two versions of Sufjan Stevens’ song, “Lonely Man of Winter,” along with Alec Duffy’s song, “Every Day is Christmas” on digital platforms. On December 7 we will release a limited pressing on seven-inch vinyl featuring the two versions of “Lonely Man of Winter.”
Proceeds will benefit Brooklyn non-profit performance venue JACK (of which Alec Duffy is founder & artistic director) in its mission to fuel experimentation in art and activism and help it serve as a launch pad for the next generation of artists. Pre-save on your favorite streaming platform here, or pre-order the limited edition 7-inch vinyl here.
In 2007, Alec Duffy won Sufjan Stevens’ Xmas Song Xchange Contest with his song, “Every Day is Christmas” and exchanged the rights to the song for Stevens’ “The Lonely Man of Winter,” (a song that Stevens wrote and recorded specifically in response to Duffy’s song). Using the opportunity to recreate a time before the internet, Duffy and his friend, composer Dave Malloy decided to create an experience in listening to the song. They held listening sessions, which started at their homes and soon expanded across the country, as well as a few sessions in Europe.
By 2012, Duffy had founded JACK, and soon found himself without time to continue the sessions. He approached Asthmatic Kitty to see if they would release the song as a way to raise money for JACK.
In addition to the song by Duffy, the release includes Sufjan’s own newer version of “Lonely Man in Winter” recorded in 2018. This new version is produced by Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) and features a performance by Melissa Mary Ahern.
October 16th, 2018 , by John Beeler
AKR is proud to announce Angelo De Augustine newest album, Tomb — his first recorded in a studio and produced by musician Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman; credits include work on albums for St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens, Glen Hansard, and Rhye). We will be releasing the album on January 18, 2019.
Tomb is a beginning for Angelo, both emotionally and in his career. It’s a motion towards positivity, addressing lost love, the worthwhile cost of honesty, and the ramifications of regret. Tomb isn’t about burying or hiding something away, it’s about opening the seal and letting something new emerge. The album’s title reveals these sentiments: “Throughout our lives we bury many dead things in our hearts and minds,” says Angelo about the record. “There they go to rest and hopefully are reborn as something beautiful for the world to behold.”
Read more about the story behind this record here.
We’ve released two visual versions of “Time,” the first single from the record. The FADER today premiered an intimate live video of lead single “Time” featuring Sufjan Stevens playing grand piano and filmed in Manhattan’s Reservoir Studios, where Tomb was also recorded. The second visual, directed by Jess Calleiro, features the studio version of the album. They’re also over at FADER.
A limited edition, first-pressing in two variants, red and yellow, is available for preorder here.
September 14th, 2018 , by John Beeler
From 2001 through 2010, Sufjan Stevens recorded an annual Christmas album that he gifted to friends and family. The recording process took place every December for one week, usually at home, provoking collaborations with friends, roommates, and musical peers.
In 2006, Stevens’ label, Asthmatic Kitty Records, released Songs for Christmas, a CD boxset compiling the first five of these albums, Volumes I-V. Later in 2012, the label released Silver & Gold, a CD and vinyl boxset compiling of Volumes VI-X.
But the first five volumes have never been released to vinyl.
This holiday season, Asthmatic Kitty Records is proud to finally release Songs for Christmas: Volumes I-V as a 5-piece vinyl boxset. The boxset arrives November 9th, 2018 with all 42 songs from the original CD boxset, including fan favorites like “Sister Winter,” “That Was The Worst Christmas Ever,” “Only At Christmas Time,” and “Put The Lights on the Tree.”
You can preorder the vinyl boxset at our store, here, or at your favorite local or online record store.
The 5-vinyl boxset includes all original package design with illustrations by Sufjan Stevens, Stephen Halker, and a family portrait painting by Jacques Bredy, as well as lyrics, chord charts, and full recording credits for all the songs. Stickers, essays, and the Sister Winter comic strip from the original CD boxset are not included (but you can still buy CD boxsets with everything in it here.)