Sufjan Stevens is a guy who I’ve heard individual tracks from here and there in the past (his track ‘Chicago’ is the most famous example, but my favourite thing that he’s done is the charming ‘A Little Lost), but I’d never listened through one of his full albums. That changes now, with my exposure to his most recent work Carrie and Lowell (released March 31st, 2015), which people are hailing as one of his best albums, if not the best. It’s a very pretty thing, but it’s almost so delicate as to pass one by at places, in a similar manner to some Elliott Smith records. Despite that, the indie folk hat is one Stevens wears very well – I agree with the seeming critical consensus that he is at his best making these types of songs.
I originally was going to talk about the track following this one, ‘All Of Me Wants All Of You’, which I really like as well, but I think on balance this track inspires a greater sense of wonder, even if it is softer (which may seem hard to believe. I like the title and lyrics to this one better as well, implying as they do a sense of melancholy regret. If you can handle the incredibly subdued nature of the track, there’s some real beauty to be found here, in the whispered lyrics and the intricate guitar/banjo playing. If you have a day where you feel like hearing something vaguely mournful yet still pleasant, this is it.