Album Of The Week: Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

sufjan

It’s always a hard task to pick out one album each week, especially when there have been so many good releases coming out recently. We’ve had great albums from Young Fathers, Ryley Walker, Jam City, Courtney Barnett and more in the past few months and with forthcoming releases from Frank Ocean, P J Harvey, James Blake to name a few,  this year is looking like a strong one for quality music. We all know that Björk’s Vulnicura is brilliant and Kendrick Lamar’s album is the best record that’s come out this year. So, instead of choosing the obvious we try to dig a little deeper. The decision wasn’t easy, but this week we’ve chosen Sufjan Stevens Carrie & Lowell as our “Album Of The Week”. The album—named for Stevens’ mother and stepfather—is a return to Stevens’ folk roots. Thematically the 11 songs address life and death, love and loss, and the artist’s struggle to make sense of the beauty and ugliness of love. Carrie & Lowell was recorded by Stevens alongside Casey Foubert, Laura Veirs, Nedelle Torrisi, Sean Carey, Ben Lester and Thomas Bartlett and mixed by Stevens, Bartlett and Pat Dillet. Each track in this collection of eleven songs begins with a fragile melody that gathers steam until it becomes nothing less than a modern hymn. Sufjan recounts the indignities of our world, of technological distraction and sad sex, of an age without neither myths nor miracle – and this time around, his voice carries the burden of wisdom. ‘Carrie and Lowell’ accomplishes the rare thing that any art should acheive, particularly in these noisy and fragmented days: By seeking to understand, Sufjan makes us feel less alone. It’s not an easy listen, by any means, but it is very beautiful.

8/10

Tracklist:

1 Death With Dignity
2 Should Have Known Better
3 All Of Me Wants All Of You
4 Drawn To the Blood
5 Eugene
6 Fourth of July
7 The Only Thing
8 Carrie & Lowell
9 John My Beloved
10 No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross
11 Blue Bucket of Gold

CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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