Sufjan Stevens is as artistically ambitious as he is formally transient, moving from early, literate and intricate indie-pop to electronic music, from encapsulating the planets to scoring ballet to soundtracking expressways.
Throughout, Lowell Brams has been his stepfather and business partner, helping manage Asthmatic Kitty Records, the label Stevens and Brams co-founded about two decades ago. Now, Brams is poised to step down from his role at the label, prompting the pair to finish a project of New Age-inspired music they’ve been scratching at for several years.
The 21-track album Aporia, releasing on March 27, “definitely marks Lowell’s retirement,” Stevens writes in a press release, “but it tells a bigger story of stewardship and mentorship. He’s been there since I was five. It’s been a long haul … This record is a synthesis of all of that history.” (Stevens also put together a playlist of songs that helped to inspire the new album, including songs from Boards Of Canada, Enya and… Sufjan Stevens.)
Now, no satisfying ambient and/or New Age-inspired song is only two-minutes-and-change in length, as this premiere is — but given the album’s length, we can put a pin in it. For now.