Sufjan Stevens is back with news of a new album called Javelin, which arrives on October 6 through Asthmatic Kitty. Moving away from the grandiose electronics of 2020’s The Ascension, Stevens returns to singer-songwriter mode, having played almost everything at home by himself. There is an appearance from Aaron Dessner on “Shit Talk” and a choral group made up of close friends adrienne maree brown, Hannah Cohen, Pauline Delassus, Megan Lui and Nedelle Torrisi, who provide harmonies on multiple songs – including lead single “So You Are Tired”.
A song that immediately envelopes with warm piano and Stevens’ gorgeously husky singing, “So You Are Tired” keeps enwrapping the listener in more layers of beauty as it progresses. There’s an air of worry in the insistent piano and Stevens’ delivery as he sings of human emotion on a mythic scale, making struggle sound colossal and epic. As the choral elements and strings sweep in, it seems to broaden the scene into a grandiose painting of love and hurt; a wide-screen appreciation of the breadth of complex relationships between humans over the course of their lives.