Sufjan Stevens has announced a new album, Aporia, a “mostly instrumental” LP he composed with his step-father, Lowell Brams. In addition to being the Lowell of Carrie & Lowell—one of our favorite records of the decade—Brams is also a co-founder of Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty record label. The pair previously collaborated on 2008's drone-forward Music For Insomnia.
Inspired by New Age composers but pulsing with the intensity of John Carpenter’s cinematic melodies, the LP “approximates a rich soundtrack from an imagined sci-fi epic brimming with moody, hooky, gauzy synthesizer soundscapes,” per a press release. The press release also asserts that this is “no mere curio in Sufjan’s catalog—but a fully realized collaborative musical piece.” Stevens describes it as “an homage to the beauty and depth of analog sound, and how it can evoke deeply felt human emotions.”
Hear the lead single, “The Unlimited,” below.
Aporia, a philosophical term for “an irresolvable contradiction,” came together over a decade of jam sessions between Stevens and Brams, and was fleshed out by contributors that include members of Sunn O))), The Shins, and Doveman, as well as Stevens’ long-term drummer, James McAlister.
The 21-track Aporia arrives on March 27 via Asthmatic Kitty. Stevens also curated a playlist of tracks that informed the album’s creation, featuring Julianna Barwick, Enya, Boards Of Canada, and Colin Stetson. Hear that below.