Your basket is empty

Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

From
HI-RES$13.49
CD$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released March 31, 2015 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
From
CD$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released July 5, 2005 | Asthmatic Kitty

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music
From
CD$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released July 1, 2003 | Asthmatic Kitty

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
From
CD$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released March 16, 2004 | Asthmatic Kitty

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
After completing the first installment of his planned series of 50 records -- one album dedicated to each state in the U.S. -- indie folk overachiever Sufjan Stevens returned with Seven Swans, a collection of stripped-down, introspective musings on life, love, and faith that chart the geographic location of the heart and soul. Many of these themes were dealt with eloquently on Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lakes State, presenting the singer/multi-instrumentalist as a first-rate interpreter of the human condition, as well as a gifted musician. The 12 tracks on Swans yield the same bounty, but with a leaner arsenal, due to Stevens' sparse arrangements and production from Danielson Famile mastermind Daniel Smith. Fellow Famile members Elin, Megan, David, and Andrew -- who also appeared on The Great Lakes State -- lend their vocal and percussion talents to the mix, resulting in a surreal campfire environment that's part confessional and part processional. Beginning with the gorgeously titled "All the Trees in the Field Will Clap Their Hands," Stevens saunters out of the gate with nary an overdub to be heard, letting the banjo lead the parade, slowly picking up piano, percussion, and the angelic voices of Megan and Elin before disappearing over the hilltop. He channels Bert Jansch on the love song "The Dress Looks Nice on You" and Eric Matthews on "To Be Alone With You," striking a winning balance of '60s British folk and indie Americana. Like the Violent Femmes' seminal pseudo-Christian masterpiece, Hallowed Ground, Seven Swans treats religion with simplicity and sincerity, approaching the subject with an almost feverish peacefulness. "Abraham," "We Won't Need Legs to Stand," and "He Woke Me Up Again," with its fiery, overdriven organ, are all effective tomes of the singer's faith, but that faith can be tested. Stevens is quite aware of the dark, and no more so than on the Flannery O'Connor-inspired "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," a first-person murder narrative that reveals a subtle current of menace only hinted at in the earlier portion of the record. Like faith, these songs require patience, as their almost mantra-like arcs take their time to fully form. By the time he reaches the spirited closer, "Transfiguration," an affirming take on the Gospels that reaches an almost Polyphonic Spree crescendo, the listener has no choice but to conform -- if only for the length of the record -- to the writer's unabashed spirituality, and at just under 45 minutes, it's an easy choice to make. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
From
CD$17.98

Ambient/New Age - Released November 13, 2012 | Asthmatic Kitty

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
From
CD$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released October 12, 2010 | Asthmatic Kitty

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
From
HI-RES$2.99
CD$1.99

Alternative & Indie - Released December 7, 2017 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Track
From
HI-RES$20.24
CD$13.49

Electronic - Released September 25, 2020 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res
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
From
HI-RES$33.73
CD$22.48

Alternative & Indie - Released May 6, 2021 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res
Convocations is a rare, original musical adventure. It brings together five movements or chapters, each an instrumental album with its own title: Meditations, Lamentations, Revelations, Celebrations and Incantations. In all, this work of exploration lasts around two and a half hours. Sufjan Stevens describes it as "a two-and-a-half-hour electronic/ambient mass for our present age of anxiety and dread." These 49 pieces communicate many different feelings, emotions and sensations. They draw inspiration from a range of different worlds, and take us from dream to dissonance, from repetition to long calm stretches, from sounds of innocence to sounds of perversion: Stevens is leading us on a true interior voyage. These five states reflect the moods that we can go through in our lives. They cycle through the successive thoughts and moods that fluctuate within our hearts, sometimes subconsciously. This is what makes Stevens' project fascinating and of relevance for the present day: but there is no hiding the historical influences which are at work here, in particular figures from the 1970s such as Brian Eno, Klaus Schulze, Morton Subotnick, or Philip Glass and Steve Reich. The structure of sounds and emotions undergirding this work resembles a cathedral. Indeed, the primary inspiration for this vast project was the death of the musician's father in September 2020, two days after the release of his album The Ascension. Convocations and its many offshoots are a response to events and an homage to a departed father. But above all, beyond even Stevens's own tragedy, they represent an attempt to create a work of art which is in dialogue with the idea of death (and this is not a first attempt: the artist recorded an album, Carrie & Lowell following the death of his mother in 2015). This way of approaching death as an absolute allows this project to go beyond Sufjan Stevens's personal drama and acquire a universal character. That universality comes across when we listen to this album: it touches the audience deep inside. This music can even enter our souls, if we want to let it, and if we give it our full attention (and yes, that can be hard given the ubiquity of the mobile phone and its enthralling black mirror). We can also experience this work visually, on Sufjan Stevens's YouTube channel: he has uploaded all of Convocations and juxtaposed it with abstract moving paintings by Melissa Fuentes, animated by Otto Sánchez. Today, in spite of the increasing dematerialisation of music and the new possibilities that this offers, the format of the single still imposes a certain degree of conformity on how music is presented and sold. But with Convocations, Sufjan Stevens has been able to reconnect with the utopias of the 1970s: with a vision of free music that exists first and foremost as a sensory and mental experience. © Yan Céh/Qobuz
From
HI-RES$13.49
CD$8.99

Electronic - Released April 29, 2021 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res
Celebrations is part of a set of five albums gathered under the title Convocations, through which Sufjan Stevens expresses his feelings following the death of his father in late 2020. Celebrations is the fourth album in this series, coming after Meditations, Lamentations and Revelations, and before Incantations. In total, the whole work contains 49 pieces, and ten in this chapter alone... While sometimes bereavement can mar a creator's work, cutting off their desire to perform or produce, loss can also have the opposite effect, as is the case here. Inspiration is often closely linked to catharsis. Stevens's feelings shine through on all ten tracks of this very beautiful and intense record. The album is entirely instrumental, and it follows many of the paths which were explored some decades ago by Brian Eno, the founding father of ambient music. The early tracks play with different sounds and bring in some quite disruptive elements but the album follows a kind of gradation, leading to a total calm on Celebration VII, where dissonant sounds give way to feelings of peace and serenity, which stretch out across the subsequent tracks. Celebration VIII feels like a warm cocoon sheltering a small, cooing creature. Celebration IX is really very Eno: it would not have been out of place on Music For Airports (1978) or Music For Films II (1983). Then, on the last piece, Celebration X, Sufjan Stevens invokes other worlds and other styles, like the tintinnabula style of which Arvo Pärt was so fond. A darker atmosphere descends, suggestive of a sudden departure. Although at times it may sound harsh, Celebration is shot through with a feeling of recollection, the acceptance of a certain completion, and a sense of reaching out towards the memories and ghosts of the past through music. © Yan Céh/Qobuz
From
CD$13.49

Ambient/New Age - Released November 21, 2006 | Asthmatic Kitty

From
HI-RES$13.49
CD$8.99

New Age - Released March 24, 2020 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res
After Music for Insomnia in 2008, a collection of instrumentals on the theme of sleep disorders, Sufjan Stevens has produced another collaboration with his stepfather. Lowell Brahms, the husband of his late mother, about whom he spoke in the introspective Carrie & Lowell in 2015, is one of the people who have counted in the career of the Michigan songwriter. Together, they started Asthmatic Kitty Records in 1999, through which Stevens released many of his works, and most importantly, they play together whenever they meet. From these regular jam sessions stretching back over the past ten years, Stevens has meticulously extracted the "10% magic moments" before setting to work on this musical patchwork with his team. The result: a psychic journey between ethereal guitars and cosmic synths, on the borders of ambient and New Age, invoking at once Vangelis, Mike Oldfield, John Carpenter and Boards of Canada – and even a bit of the spirit of Neil Young’s Dead Man soundtrack. One to listen to in a yurt during your next shamanic retreat. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
From
HI-RES$13.49
CD$8.99

Electronic - Released April 15, 2021 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res
From
HI-RES$13.49
CD$8.99

Electronic - Released April 8, 2021 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res
From
HI-RES$20.24
CD$13.49

Alternative & Indie - Released April 28, 2017 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res
From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$11.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 9, 2017 | 4AD

Hi-Res
From
HI-RES$13.49
CD$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released November 24, 2017 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res
Two and half years after the release of his masterpiece Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan Stevens offers a follow-up consisting of alternative takes, remixes and demos. Centred around the death of his mother in a resolutely folk mood, the American songwriter returns to a sort of source on this record which he tries here to rub out in order to take things forward into slightly more experimental and electronic territory. The exercise is sometimes a little redundant (like on Death With Dignity whose Helado Negro Remix does away with the original’s virginal beauty) and at other times really quite stunning (with a new lease of life for Exploding Whale thanks to the Doveman Remix). Those left cold or frustrated by the remixes will still stumble across the unreleased song Wallowa Lake Monster. Ultimately, Greatest Gift is fundamentally for Sufjan Stevens fans or completists. © MD/Qobuz
From
CD$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released July 11, 2006 | Asthmatic Kitty

From
HI-RES$1.79
CD$1.19

Electronic - Released April 6, 2021 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res
From
HI-RES$1.95
CD$1.29

Alternative & Indie - Released July 7, 2021 | Asthmatic Kitty

Hi-Res