Ok, so Sufjan Stevens has been a favourite of mine for years, since playing Illinois to the point of so many scratches that the dreaded “disk error” message became it’s only output. 10 years on from this, and album number 7, Carrie and Lowell is a strong reminder of why Sufjan is a musical legend.
Carrie and Lowell is a breathtaking and emotional album, which moves seamlessly from track to track before you realise you’ve listened to the entire album, again. He has always been a flawless wordsmith, but this album is so personal as it travels through his grief after the loss of his mother. It both breaks your heart, yet fills you with a strange sense of peace through the musical exploration of their relationship and childhood memories. The darkness and depth of the lyrical content, is often masked by its angelic delivery, yet you can feel the heartache, the tension, and the battle of faith and acceptance throughout the journey.
Notable moments include Fourth Of July, and All Of Me Wants All Of You, yet this album is best experienced as a whole. It is the soundscape to a rainy contemplative day, and immerses you completely in the moment. Sufjan has done it yet again, producing beautiful, melodic treats that make you wish you had as much talent as a hair on his head.
You can stream the gorgeous album in full on Soundcloud, and if you’re lucky enough, catch the live show at the Opera House this weekend.