Sufjan Stevens released a new Christmas song, "Lonely Man of Winter," November 8

Sufjan Stevens released a new Christmas song, “Lonely Man of Winter,” November 8

Andrea Morrison/Courtesy of the artist

Each Monday we feature three new songs recently added to the broadcast on opbmusic. Hear a new Christmas song, get back in the tour van, and enter a dreamlike trance with this week’s mix.

 Sufjan Stevens - ‘Lonely Man of Winter’

Sufjan Stevens’ recently shared his highly anticipated original Christmas song, “Lonely Man of Winter” as part of a triad of tunes. The song’s release has been an experiment of sorts. Back in 2007, Stevens held a songwriting contest that he called the “Xmas Song Xchange Contest.” Entrants wrote an original Christmas song, and the winner received a song from Stevens in exchange. A fair trade, complete with song rights. That meant the winner, Alec Duffy, had complete control over how the song would be released. Initially, he held listening parties during which he played the song for a chosen few. The public had not heard the tune, until now. Stevens and Duffy released the song, along with Duffy’s original tune and a re-recorded version of the “Lonely Man of Winner.” Now there’s nothing left to do but deck the halls and enjoy the tracks.’

Fruit Bats - ‘Getting in a Van Again’

In early November, Fruit Bats (Eric Johnson) released a tune and accompanying short documentary film poking a bit of fun at the state of the music industry and the process of recording one’s art. While the short film, directed by Johnny Look, might be more mock than doc, the song entitled “Getting in a Van Again” lands squarely in the subgenre of tunes about the business of being on the road. Though in a league of songs that typically ring of disenchantment and discontent, this song takes on a more amused, lighthearted tone. Here he is, newly signed to Merge Records and getting in a van again. Catch Fruit Bats at Portland’s Revolution Hall on Nov. 19.

Panda Bear - ‘Dolphin’

The newest song by Panda Bear (Noah Lennox of Animal Collective), titled “Dolphin,” lives in a quiet, almost buoyant space that is part trance and part dreamscape. Fittingly, it is the first track from his forthcoming album “Buoys” due out Feb. 8, 2019. To create this dreamy experimental sound, Lennox partnered with Rusty Santos, and the pair recorded and mixed the tracks in Lisbon, Portugal. Save a bit of vocoder, the track allows Lennox’s vocal to shine amongst sparse and playful instrumentation, including a percussive drip drop of water that propels the song throughout. Though no Oregon and Washington shows are currently planned, you can check out his Facebook page for tour updates.