Anyone listening to Sufjan Stevens lately?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by DigMe, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I've heard his stuff on and off for a couple of years I guess. I heard a song here or there that was pretty cool but I was never motivated to buy a CD.

    Well, a couple of months ago I was looking for something to use my downloads on at and I ended up back at Sufjan. I was taking a look at the Illinoise album and the overwhelmingly giddy reviews persuaded me to download it. WOW! I'm glad I did. What an incredible album! I love to throw this on when I'm driving at night in the middle of nowhere. The music is just so rich throughout and he's got such a great take on things.

    My favorite song on there is "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois."

    I also really like "John Wayne Gacy, Jr," "Chicago," " They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh!," and "Jacksonville."

    Just absolutely incredible album. Possibly the best release of the year IMO.

    If you're a fan of rich, varied, mellow music then check him out. You can hear some samples at Or you can check out a couple of complete songs at Although I don't think either of the available free downloads are as good as the good stuff off of Illinoise. However, here is a direct link to one of them:

    "All Good Naysayers Speak Up! Or forever hold your peace!"

    BTW, if you dig Sufjan you might just dig some of Redd Hunter's projects such as Peter and the Wolf. Here's a link to a demo mp3 available at

    Strange Eyes mp3

    and here's a link to an animated video he had done for one of their other songs:

    How I Wish Quicktime video
    It's a very cool animation.

    brad cook
  2. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I have one live track by him. "The 50 States Song", I like it, but I wasn't that excited by his other stuff. Maybe I've just overdrawn on my indie-folk account for the moment by listening to too much Neutral Milk Hotel and Decemberists.
  3. He's planning on doing an album about every state. Pretty ambitious. I like what I've heard from him.
  4. Eli M.

    Eli M. Life's like a movie, write your own ending

    Jul 24, 2004
    New York, NY
    I recently started listening to his music and I have both the Michigan and Illinois albums. They're both very good, but I find that I have to be in the right mood to listen to either album all the way through.

    I do a solo acoustic (guitar) version of "For the Widows in Paradise, For The Fatherless in Ypsilanti" but I think I may put that away for a few years and start performing it again when he's not so much the "in" thing.
  5. greg


    Jun 1, 2004
    The John Wayne Gacy Jr. song is one of like the most scary yet beautiful songs at the same time. I dont get the end though.
  6. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I believe the end is an allusion to the fallen state of man.

    brad cook
  7. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX

    I don't think plain 'ol "indie-folk" does his music justice. Some of the songs are along that vein and then some of them have lush string arrangements, funky bass lines, brass etc.. Things that are not characteristic of indie folk in my mind.

    brad cook
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I can't imagine he will ever actually record the 50 albums he has planned (one per state).

    I like his song about the cancer victim that I hear on the radio almost daily, I think that's from Illinoise?

    I don't think he's folk either but I only hear him on folk shows...
  9. Casmir Pulaski Day >>>>>>>>>> any other sad song ever.
  10. Derio


    Dec 6, 2005
    Saint George
    I'm listening to him right now - good stuff.
  11. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    BTW, David Crowder Band does a cover of "O God Where Are You Now? (In Pickerel Lake? Pigeon? Marquette?" from Michigan on their latest album, A Collision. I'm pretty sure it's available on iTunes if you have that and want to check it out.

    brad cook
  12. NoNoise

    NoNoise Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    Sufjan is a Christian, so he has a lot of those allusions in his songs. "A Sun Came" is a great album (his first). Also, check out Danielson Famile!
  13. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004
    I think I liken him to a mentally stable Nick Drake.

    It's really weird because I just finished listening to "Tonic" by Medeski Martin & Wood and wanted to calm down. I immediately thought of Sufjan. I really, really enjoy his work. There is so much going on, though it seems so simple. I really have enjoyed all of his "state" work.