Thanks to the Internets, it's alot easier to hear about new tunes. And to actually hear them, too. Case in point, the music of Mr. Sufjan Stevens. He's been awful quiet since The Avalanche was released last summer, yet slowly but surely, new songs are trickling out -- even if they aren't necessarily from a new Sufjan album, states related or non.
First, a song from A Tribute to Joni Mitchell, which was released in April. Mr. Stevens covers Ms. Mitchell's "A Free Man in Paris," of which I have no prior knowledge, seeing as my infatuation with her began and ended very quickly, over a matter of days, and never recovered. Pitchfork has been streaming it for weeks now, but in case you missed it, here it is:
It's classic, big-band Sufjan, or at least recently classic, big-band Sufjan, which is how most people know him anyways.
However, not-so-classic Sufjan is right around the corner, on an upcoming compilation from McSweeney's The Believer. Stevens has flashed rock cred in the past, but this new track, "In The Words Of The Governor," really gets the blood pumping unlike anything else in his back catalog. Be prepared for a surprise if you like the pretty Sufjan best, courtesy of Stereogum (follow the link for a stream of the cut).
And finally, back to pretty Sufjan, and a video (from blogotheque and dailymotiom) of the man himself covering The Innocence Mission's gorgeous "Lakes of Canada" from their album Birds Of My Neighborhood. Banjo? Check. Shyness? Check. Rooftop performance? Check. Ah, who cares which Sufjan you like best. The man is just plain good at what he does, however it is he does it.
So there you go, true believers. Maybe one of these days we'll see another 50 States album. Or maybe a Seven Swans-ish rock-your-face-off fest. I couldn't care less what it is, as long as it's sooner rather than later. Much sooner.