Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

It’s been four years since Stevens last record the full on electronic ‘The Age of Adz’ but here, on his latest album ‘Carrie & Lowell’ he returns to his folk roots and presents us with a beautifully sparse and stripped bare collection of songs. Named after his mother and step father the eleven tracks here go right down to Stevens’ core trying to get to the bottom and the truth of his relationship with his parent. Full of love, loss, hope, abandonment and human suffering the songs are, despite the subject matter, surprisingly uplifting made up of mostly guitar, banjo and piano. Channelling the ghost of Elliot Smith on tracks like ‘All of Me Wants All of You’ and ‘Drawn to the Blood’ Stevens’ voice is soft and childlike in its questioning of the themes contained within. Standout track ‘Fourth of July’ punches the listener the first time with its ‘we’re all going to die’ refrain but it comes across as the opposite of morbid and is actually quite heartening. With organ crescendos and strings adding to the cathartic feel Stevens’ has opened a door into himself and thankfully held it open so we too can go through with him into his soul searching musical opus.

sufjan

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