April 2nd, 2021 , by John Beeler
Convocations, a new instrumental album by Sufjan Stevens, will be released on May 6 digitally, and on August 20th, 2021 via 5xLP colored vinyl boxset .
Convocations is comprised of five volumes—Meditations, Lamentations, Revelations, Celebrations and Incantations—the project is a two-and-a-half-hour, 49-track reflection on a year of anxiety, uncertainty, isolation, and loss. Read more about the project here.
You can hear the first song from the project, “Meditation V,” right now by clicking here.
The full volume of Meditations will be out this Thursday, April 8. We’ll be releasing the other four volumes each week for the next four weeks. See schedule below for details.
Each of the volumes and tracks of Convocations are accompanied by a generative video art piece created by artist Melissa Fuentes.
Also: please save the date and join us on Thursday at 12pm ET, when we’ll be premiering Meditations in full, alongside with Fuentes’ visuals, via YouTube livestream here. The livestream will remain active during that week to come, and we encourage you to join in the stream’s chat throughout to reflect, respond, meditate, lament, revel, celebrate, and incant what we’ve gained and what we’ve lost over the last year, and what we see on the horizon.
“Meditation V” out now.
Thursday April 8
12PM ET: Livestream of Meditations.
1PM ET: Pre-orders available for 5xLP boxset
Monday April 12
Thursday April 15
12PM ET: Livestream of Lamentations
Monday April 19:
Thursday April 22
12PM ET: Livestream of Revelations
Monday April 26
Thursday April 29
12PM ET: Livestream of Celebrations
Monday May 3:
Thursday May 6
12PM ET: Livestream of Incantations,
1PM ET: full Convocations project available on digital platforms
5xLP boxsets ship (first pressing).
Click here to follow the schedule on our Sufjan calendar.
February 11th, 2021 , by John Beeler
Sufjan has released a music video directed by Luca Guadagnino for “Tell Me You Love Me,” from The Ascension. Sufjan previously collaborated with Guadagnino director for the 2018 film Call Me By Your Name.
The music video features work by Alessio Bolzoni and Celia Hempton.
Regarding the video, Guadagnino says:
“The aching feeling of loving and wanting to be loved, the mystery of bodies that clash, the uncanny aspects of nature, the sublime music poetry and voice of Sufjan—all this went into this video that I am proud to have made with the collaboration of two more great artists, Alessio Bolzoni and Celia Hempton.”
You can purchase The Ascension at your local record store, or from our store here, or stream it here.
Sufjan has also released a new “Tell Me You Love Me” themed t-shirt.” You can pre-order the shirt at our store here.
January 10th, 2021 , by John Beeler
Denison Witmer follows up last year’s release of his album American Foursquare with a reframed look at four songs from that LP: “Birds of Virginia” (featuring Karen and Don Peris of Innocence Mission), “Simple and True,” “River of Music” (the first single from American Foursquare), and “Roseanne” (featuring Rosie Thomas).
To hear the Simplified EP, check your preferred digital streaming platform or click here.
The CD and vinyl for American Foursquare, delayed due to COVID-related supply chain issues, is tentatively set for release before the spring of this year. You can pre-order those formats here.
November 10th, 2020 , by John Beeler
Today, Denison Witmer returns with word of a first physical release for his twelfth album – and first in seven years – American Foursquare landing on Jan 8th. Released digitally during lockdown earlier this year, the album sees an expanded edition in January accompanied by brand new tracks, outtakes, stripped back versions and more.
Stream or share the song by clicking here.
To celebrate the announcement, Witmer is today sharing the new cut ‘Lancaster County‘, a soaring, country rock-tinged homage to Denison’s home county, directed by Reverie.
Of the track, he offers:
“The recording of ‘Lancaster County’ started out as something of an afterthought. When we were making American Foursquare, we ended up finishing drum tracking ahead of schedule on the final day of recording. Since I still had another 4 hours of studio time, I called my friend Jessica Dobson (Deep Sea Diver) and asked if she wanted to come to the studio. Jessica is the best guitarist I know – she can play anything really well – and I thought it would be fun to experiment with a live recording of this song. I usually write and record in isolation, so the opportunity to play in a band setting is always exciting. I love feeling/hearing the songs become something new in other people’s talents and headspace. This song unfolded exactly as it needed to: It’s a folk inspired country rock anthem. It’s the only song from the American Foursquare sessions that feels this way, and it’s the only one that was recorded live. In the end, it didn’t quite fit the overall vibe of American Foursquare, so I decided to release it as a stand-alone track.”
You can pre-order the CD and LP at our store here.
October 28th, 2020 , by John Beeler
“This is a song we wrote for people who have to cross great seas and bear great burdens.”Read the Rest...
October 26th, 2020 , by John Beeler
Angelo De Augustine is premiering his new self-produced single “Blue,” featuring Sufjan Stevens on vocals, piano and guitar, via Cool Hunting. The single is accompanied by a new video, directed and shot by De Augustine on Super 8 film:
Listen on your preferred streaming or digital platform by clicking here.
“‘Blue’ speaks of an admission in confidence to a friend,” explains Angelo. “The eternal and symbiotic bond of mother and child, and an inquisition into our inner pain, investigating if we are forever bound by it.”
The track is set to appear alongside Angelo’s recent single “Santa Barbara” on a limited edition, water-bottle-blue 7-inch single due later this year. You can pre-order the 7-inch here or at Bandcamp here.
In addition to the new music, Angelo has designed a limited-edition custom apparel line comprising hand-crafted overalls, a baseball hat, a pocket t-shirt and two enamel pins, available individually and also in various bundles, including with the new “Blue”/“Santa Barbara” 7” single. Pre-order is available now via Angelo’s new merch store here.
September 25th, 2020 , by John Beeler
The Ascension from Sufjan Stevens is available digitally now, and out on all physical formats on October 2. You can listen to The Ascension on your preferred streaming or digital service, or by clicking here.
We have t-shirts and CDs available in our store here. More black double LPs will be available there mid-October. Check your local record stores, or wherever you buy records, next week on October 2 for the limited edition clear double LP with tip-on gatefold and the standard black double LP.
September 15th, 2020 , by John Beeler
Today we debut “Sugar,” a new song from Sufjan’s forthcoming album The Ascension Listen here, and watch the video, choreographed by Kyle Abraham and directed by Ezra Hurwitz below:
Filmed in Brooklyn, the video features noted dancers Raymond Pinto, Samantha Figgans, Celeste Mason and Walter Russell III portraying a family as their world dissolves around them.
“‘Sugar’ is ultimately about the desire for goodness and purity (and true sustenance),” says Sufjan. “On the surface the song is just a string of clichés, but the message is imperative: now is the time to gather what is good and pure and valuable and make it your own, and share it with others. Feed your soul and speak new life into those around you. Give each other love, respect and sacrifice. Relinquish all the old habits, all the old ways of thinking and doing, all former practices—‘business as usual’—and bring new life to the world. This is our calling.”
“The way I approach choreography tends to blend elements of the everyday with moments of abstraction,” says Abraham. “I was compelled by the tempo and the tone of the song…especially when choreographing the duet material and solo material for Samantha Figgans and Raymond Pinto. This song and its undertones created a lot of really fun scenarios to play with choreographically.“
You can pre-order The Ascension here.
Please note that the physical release date for The Ascension has been moved from September 25 to October 2 due to unforeseen COVID-19-related manufacturing and logistics delays. We’ll still be releasing The Ascension on all streaming and download platforms, as scheduled, on September 25.
August 13th, 2020 , by John Beeler
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.
July 10th, 2020 , by John Beeler
“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.