Sufjan Stevens – The Upper Peninsula
Posted on Jul 28th, 2008 by Alan @ 2:23 pm

This is lovely. There are few sounds that put a bigger smile on my face than the banjo, and Sufjan has a really languid style on this record. Add to that some chilled-out organ and perfectly matched female vocals, and I’m in heaven.

My one gripe about Sufjan Stevens is that he seems to have gone into hiding! Two albums into a notional 50-release series commemorating each of the states of the USA it’s all gone very quiet. It always sounded an ambitious plan, but if he’s only going to cover two states every five years (Michigan was released in 2003 and Illinois in 2005) then he’ll be rewriting medical science by the time he finishes the job! With a bit of luck though, the reason it’s all gone so quiet is that he’s hard at work and is going to release the rest of the north eastern corner of the USA as a box set. Can’t wait!

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Sufjan Stevens – To Be Alone With You
Posted on Jan 28th, 2008 by Alan @ 12:22 pm

sufjan.jpg

Eek! I just realised how little I’d posted since the turn of the year! I was making a concerted effort at the end of last year to post at least a couple of times a week and I was doing okay at that, but I’ve barely managed a couple of posts this month. Slap my wrists.

I posted something from Seven Swans in mid December, and at the time it was a close thing which track I would post. Second prize that day went to “To Be Alone With You”, I must have been in a funny mood that day though – this is the song that always starts playing in my head when I think of Seven Swans. It’s divine.

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Sufjan Stevens – The Dress Looks Nice On You
Posted on Dec 10th, 2007 by Alan @ 10:46 am

sufjan.jpg

I hadn’t listened to Sufjan Stevens for a wee while – I overdosed on the Illinois and Michigan albums after I first heard of him – but after watching Little Miss Sunshine again the other week (which features Sufjan on the soundtrack) I thought it was about time I put his CDs back near the top of my playlist. Seven Swans is an album that kinda passed me by, I bought all of his back catalogue within the space of about three weeks  and although I liked it on first listen the two albums that start the 50 States project appealed more to me and I never quite got back to Seven Swans.

Seven Swans is a much more laid-back record than those other two, and I can see it standing the test of time better. I hope Sufjan gets round to releasing more music, I’m getting frustrated waiting to see which state is next – I suspect it will be New York, as he has performed a piece about the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway recently, and I found an unreleased (I think) track called “Niagara Falls” a while back, which if my O-level geography serves me well is right up at the top of New York state.

There’s no need for any geographical knowledge with Seven Swans though. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

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Sufjan Stevens vs Christina Aguilera – The Upper Peninsula
Posted on May 2nd, 2007 by Alan @ 7:20 pm

sufjanstevens.jpg

Another bootleg from Aggro1 – this time from another of my favourite artists, Sufjan Stevens, mashed up with Christina Aguilera.

Lovely!

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Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne Gacy Jr
Posted on Mar 23rd, 2007 by Alan @ 1:37 pm

Sufjan Stevens

This is the track that first got me interested music blogging – I stumbled across The Hype Machine and saw a load of tracks by a guy with an odd name I’d never heard of before. Out of this list jumped the name of a serial killer, and I thought “that’s the one for me!”

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This is an incredible song, from an incredible artist. Read about him and check out some of his other material here – “John Wayne Gacy Jr” is off the Illinois album (the second CD in Sufjan’s “50 States” series – how’s that for ambition?) and is my favourite.

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This blog is intended as a way to spread the word about music I really like, and encourage others to support artists who are making great music. "Try before you buy", if you like. If you hear something you like here, go and buy it - I'll post links to online shops where you can buy each track I blog about.

If you're reading this and you are the artist, or their record company, and you don't want a track I've posted to be available to hear in this way just email me and let me know - I will be more than happy to take the file down straight away. I've heard of other bloggers getting threatened with letters from lawyers, and there is absolutely no need to waste your money on that with me!