Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine have previewed their upcoming collaborative LP A Beginner’s Guide with new two new songs. ‘Back to Oz’, which arrives with a video directed by Alex Horan of Straight To Tell and animated by Clara Murray, was inspired by the 1985 film Return To Oz, while ‘Fictional California’ was inspired by Bring It On Again. Check them out below.
“This was a song that I had written mostly at home in California,” De Augustine said of ‘Back to Oz’ in a press release. “We finished its lyrics after watching Return to Oz. The words reference an erosion of a central character’s internal reality. A loss of innocence is the impetus for a journey to find inner truth. In the film, Dorothy returns to the world of Oz to find its landscape in ruins and its citizens frozen in stone. Only she can find the ruby slippers and return peace to Oz. Only we can save ourselves, but we first have to remember who we truly are.”
“Angelo is mostly known for his intimate home recordings; his music is quiet and confessional,” Stevens added. “So for ‘Back To Oz’ we decided to go for something flashier. The song has a fun guitar groove, so we gave it some bass and drums, and Angelo even recorded his first electric guitar solo. It’s a sad song—being mostly about disillusionment—but it has a great party vibe too.”