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Sufjan Stevens - The Ascension

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The Ascension

Sufjan Stevens

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Is the album title The Ascension a reference to mountaineering or the Christian festival which celebrates Jesus’s ascension to heaven on the 40th day of Easter? Judging from the album cover which looks like a stain-glass window, you’d probably go for the latter. Though the first option seems equally valid; Sufjan Stevens’ eighth album takes you on an expedition. Be careful, it’s a long journey (15 tracks in 80 minutes) but the summits are worth it. On his moving previous album Carrie & Lowell (2015) the American musician chronicled the story of his sick mother on an acoustic guitar. Here, it’s a sick world he’s talking about: America in 2020, disillusionment, anxiety and dehumanisation. And desperate times call for desperate measures! The measures that Sufjan Stevens took are paradoxical: he made this album alone but orchestrated his songs like liturgical music. The main theme running through the album is his intimate voice. He sounds like a fallen angel, multiplying his voice into a choir of 150 Sufjan Stevens in white togas, layered over an electronic backdrop that goes from retro Vangelis-style ambient music to R’n’B, while exploring sounds that remind us of what Björk did in the 90s. The Ascension is a heavenly album of contemporary pop that’s been liberated by boundless technology. It’s not easy to take everything in at first, but after listening to this record a few times it might become difficult to stop. © Stéphane Deschamps/Qobuz

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The Ascension

Sufjan Stevens

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1
Make Me An Offer I Cannot Refuse
00:05:18

Sufjan Stevens, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

2
Run Away With Me
00:04:07

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

3
Video Game
00:04:15

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

4
Lamentations
00:03:42

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

5
Tell Me You Love Me
00:04:21

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

6
Die Happy
00:05:46

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

7
Ativan
00:06:32

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

8
Ursa Major
00:03:42

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

9
Landslide
00:05:04

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

10
Gilgamesh
00:03:50

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

11
Death Star
00:04:04

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

12
Goodbye To All That
00:03:48

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

13
Sugar
00:07:36

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

14
The Ascension
00:05:56

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

15
America
00:12:29

Sufjan Stevens, Lyricist, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - SUFJAN STEVENS MUSIC, MusicPublisher

2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records 2020 Asthmatic Kitty Records

Album Description

Is the album title The Ascension a reference to mountaineering or the Christian festival which celebrates Jesus’s ascension to heaven on the 40th day of Easter? Judging from the album cover which looks like a stain-glass window, you’d probably go for the latter. Though the first option seems equally valid; Sufjan Stevens’ eighth album takes you on an expedition. Be careful, it’s a long journey (15 tracks in 80 minutes) but the summits are worth it. On his moving previous album Carrie & Lowell (2015) the American musician chronicled the story of his sick mother on an acoustic guitar. Here, it’s a sick world he’s talking about: America in 2020, disillusionment, anxiety and dehumanisation. And desperate times call for desperate measures! The measures that Sufjan Stevens took are paradoxical: he made this album alone but orchestrated his songs like liturgical music. The main theme running through the album is his intimate voice. He sounds like a fallen angel, multiplying his voice into a choir of 150 Sufjan Stevens in white togas, layered over an electronic backdrop that goes from retro Vangelis-style ambient music to R’n’B, while exploring sounds that remind us of what Björk did in the 90s. The Ascension is a heavenly album of contemporary pop that’s been liberated by boundless technology. It’s not easy to take everything in at first, but after listening to this record a few times it might become difficult to stop. © Stéphane Deschamps/Qobuz

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