Sufjan Stevens' gorgeous and devastating new album, Carrie & Lowell, may just be his best since 2005's Illinois, and you can stream it now, via NPR. The 11-track effort is his first proper album since 2010's The Age of Adz, and the first album to return to his indie folk roots since 2006's The Avalanche.
Inspired by his absent, troubled mother Carrie's death, and childhood memories of Oregon summers spent with her and his stepfather Lowell, the album deftly grapples with some heavy themes and Big Questions. Speaking to Pitchfork earlier this year, Stevens said, “I’m being explicit about really horrifying experiences in my life, but my hope has always been to be responsible as an artist and to avoid indulging in my misery." He continued, "I just want to honor the experience. I’m not the victim here, and I’m not seeking other people’s sympathy."
Carrie & Lowell is out March 31st.
Sufjan Steven's Carrie & Lowell tracklist:
01 Death With Dignity
02 Should Have Known Better
03 All of Me Wants All of You
04 Drawn to the Blood
05 Fourth of July
06 The Only Thing
07 Carrie & Lowell
09 John My Beloved
10 No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross
11 Blue Bucket of Gold