Earlier this week, Sufjan Stevens announced a new album called The Ascension, set for release on September 25 via Asthmatic Kitty Records. Now, the singer-songwriter has shared the first single off the record, a 12-and-a-half-minute track that serves as the album’s sprawling closer. Check it out below.
In a press release, Stevens revealed that the song was originally written during the sessions for his previous album, 2015’s acclaimed Carrie & Lowell. “I was dumbfounded by the song when I first wrote it,” he said. “Because it felt vaguely mean-spirited and miles away from everything else on Carrie & Lowell. So I shelved it. But when I dug up the demo a few years later I was shocked by its prescience. I could no longer dismiss it as angry and glib. The song was clearly articulating something prophetic and true, even if I hadn’t been able to identify it at the time. That’s when I saw a clear path toward what I had to do next.”
Though The Ascension marks his first full solo album in five years, the singer-songwriter released a collaborative record with his stepfather, Lowell Brams, back in March called Aporia.