Do you have a moment to talk about Javelin? 🎵

It would be wrong of me to let a Sufjan release go by without urging people to listen to it. What a perfect way to enter autumn.

This is arguably his most accessible album in a decade, not only musically but lyrically. It’s not at all as pretentious and historical as Illinois, and not quite as depressive as Carrie & Lowell (although, I have to briefly defend that album’s depressiveness by saying that “Fourth of July,” with it’s lovely choral refrain of “we’re all gonna die,” is one of my most listened songs, and pulled me through some very hard times). Pitchfork put it nicely:

If the lyrics on Javelin lack the proper-noun touchstones of Stevens’ story-songs, these ones gain authority from an intrinsic sense of self and place. They are approachable like pop songs, but delivered with the same precision as his folk confessionals. They break our hearts from within.

I should also mention the dedication to his late partner Evans Richardson. There’s not a lot I can add to this. I can just say I really appreciate Sufjan’s transparency through such a difficult time of life. Javelin makes it clear that it wasn’t always an easy relationship, and he says as much in his post:

I know relationships can be very difficult sometimes, but it’s always worth it to put in the hard work and care for the ones you love, especially the beautiful ones, who are few and far between. If you happen to find that kind of love, hold it close, hold it tight, savor it, tend to it, and give it everything you’ve got, especially in times of trouble. Be kind, be strong, be patient, be forgiving, be vigorous, be wise, and be yourself. Live every day as if it is your last, with fullness and grace, with reverence and love, with gratitude and joy. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.


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David Schlaepfer @davids