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Sufjan Stevens announces new album and shares first single

'Javelin' is out on October 6

By Joe Goggins

Sufjan Stevens press shot, 2023
Stevens will return to his traditional style for the first time since 2015.(Photo: Press)

Sufjan Stevens has announced details of his tenth studio album, which is set for release on October 6.

The indie folk icon will release Javelin via his own Asthmatic Kitty label, and has today (August 14) shared the album’s lead single, ‘So You Are Tired’. You can hear it below. Stevens’ last release was 2021’s five-volume instrumental work Convocations; before that came 2020’s The Ascension, which was an electropop diversion, meaning that Javelin will be Stevens’ first album in the singer-songwriter mode that he’s known and loved for since 2015’s universally acclaimed Carrie & Lowell. ‘So You Are Tired’ brings together layers of guitar and piano in stately, sumptuous fashion.

Javelin was recorded entirely at home, although a press release contends that such was Stevens’ dedication to building his own recording space that the environment ended up evoking “‘70s Los Angeles studio opulence.” He collaborated with a group of close friends on the record, including adrienne maree brown, Hannah Cohen, Pauline Delassus, Megan Lui and Nedelle Torrisi, all of whom provide harmonies throughout the album. Meanwhile, his long-time friend and collaborator, Bryce Dessner of The National, also makes a contribution, playing both electric and acoustic guitar.

The record closes with a cover of ‘There’s a World’, taken from Neil Young’s 1972 masterpiece Harvest. Javelin is now available for pre-order, and vinyl editions will be accompanied by a 48-page book of art and essays all by Stevens’ own hand. The essays, in particular, are described in the press notes as “alternatively funny, tragic, poignant, obtuse, and specific” and are thematically linked to the songs on the album.

Javelin follows a number of releases by Stevens, beginning with Carrie & Lowell, that were inspired by the death of his parents; in a four-star review of that record for Rolling Stone, Jillian Mapes said that: “Even when Stevens goes all happy memories and gentle melodies…you’ll be holding back tears.” You can see the full track listing for Javelin below.

Sufjan Stevens – Javelin:

  1. ‘Goodbye Evergreen’
  2. ‘A Running Start’
  3. ‘Will Anybody Ever Love Me?’
  4. ‘Everything That Rises’
  5. ‘Genuflecting Ghost’
  6. ‘My Little Red Fox’
  7. ‘So You are Tired’
  8. ‘Javelin (To Have and To Hold’)
  9. ‘Shit Talk’
  10. ‘There’s a World’