Known Johnson

July 21, 2005

Recommended: Sufjan Stevens

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 10:12 pm

A serious lack of time and energy prevents me from doing much in-depth this week on either site, but for those checking in, here’s a little gift (from NPR, as found on Blogcritics, not me, I’m just passing it along):

Sufjan Stevens – The Lord God Bird (free download)

Summary: Stevens (first name pronounced Soof-yawn) wrote this song on the spur of the moment for NPR when they were doing a piece on the reappearance of a long-thought-extinct rare white-billed woodpecker that had come to be known as the “lord god bird.” Stevens’ music is all like this – dark, quiet, but intriguing and beautiful. You don’t quite imagine the banjo turning out this kind of music, but it works so beautifully in the context of his songs.

For the unaware, who might find the info out and get scared off: Sufjan Stevens technically falls under the “Christian music” label, but his music is so much more rewarding than most of the pap that gets labeled with that title. He’s a truly incredible musician, gifted with talent on many instruments, and his albums typically put his abilities to the test, with playing most instruments. He’s also known for a project he undertook a couple years back to document the entire 50 states of the US with dedicated releases for each state. So far he’s hit two – Michigan and Illinois (mentioned a couple weeks back.) In between those two he release a truly heartbreakingly beautiful album, Seven Swans, which surely would have been high up in my top-10 of last year – had I heard it in time. If you like what you hear here, you’ll like the rest of his material – it only gets better from here.

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