New Music From Sufjan Stevens: All Delighted People

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens is embarking on a pretty ambitious tour this autumn, and to help set the stage — so to speak — the man is releasing a brand new EP entitled All Delighted People. Sufjan has never been known to do anything small, so his EP is 60 minutes long — and you can listen to the entire thing here.

From Asthmatic Kitty’s announcement:

The EP, All Delighted People, is built around two different versions of Sufjan’s long-form epic ballad “All Delighted People,” a dramatic homage to the Apocalypse, existential ennui, and Paul Simon’s “Sounds of Silence.” Sounds delightful, yes! The song was originally workshopped (oh we hate making workshop a verb, but time is money!) on Sufjan’s previous tour in the fall of 2009. Other songs on the EP include the 17-minute guitar jam-for-single-mothers “Djohariah,” and the gothic piano ballad “The Owl and the Tanager,” a live-show mainstay (and Debbie Downer if you ask us; what’s it doing on a “Delighted” EP?).

And here’s the complete track list:

  1. All Delighted People (Original Version) — 11:38
  2. Enchanting Ghost — 3:39
  3. Heirloom — 2:55
  4. From The Mouth Of Gabriel — 4:03
  5. The Owl And The Tanager — 6:39
  6. All Delighted People (Classic Rock Version) — 8:07
  7. Arnika — 5:14
  8. Djohariah — 17:03

I’m still making my way through the EP, but at first blush, it sounds like Sufjan is attempting to blend the huge, lavish orchestrations that he’s become known for with quieter, intimate moments à la Seven Swans. The Steve Reich-isms that he’s so well known for are diminished, if not entirely absent, with Stevens going for a more abstract, experimental sound which flows quite nicely into choirs and folksy acoustic guitar/banjo ballads.

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