Sufjan Stevens returns to familiar Carrie & Lowell-era singer/songwriter territory for the first time in years on his upcoming album Javelin, due Oct. 6 from Asthmatic Kitty. The lead track is the tender, piano- and acoustic guitar-tinged “So Are You Tired,” with Stevens singing about love, death, and regret (“are you with or without a friend? / bring me back everything caught in your shield / let everything else descend”).
Stevens made Javelin mostly on his own at his upstate New York studio, but there are contributions from friends such as his former Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, neighbor Bryce Dessner of the National, who plays guitar on the song “Shit Talk.” Also featured are Hannah Cohen, Megan Lui, Pauline Delassus, and adrienne maree brown. Javelin concludes with a cover of Neil Young’s “There’s a World” from his classic 1972 album Harvest.
The new album follows 2020’s The Ascension and 2021’s five-volume instrumental collection Convocations, as well as Stevens’ 2021 collaboration with fellow singer/songwriter Angelo De Augustine, A Beginner’s Mind. It will be augmented by a 48-page book full of essays and art created by Stevens, comprised of “meticulous collages, cut-up catalog fantasies, puff-paint word clouds, and iterative color fields,” per a press release.
Stevens has not toured widely since 2016, but as of now, no new dates have been announced.
Here is the track list for Javelin:“Goodbye Evergreen”
“A Running Start”
“Will Anybody Ever Love Me?”
“Everything That Rises”
“My Little Red Fox”
“So You Are Tired”
“Javelin (To Have and To Hold)”
“Thereʼs a World”