Sufjan Stevens

Listening to the catalog of Sufjan Stevens is like stepping into a completely different world with each new album.  This artist is a staple of the indie pop world that manages to create astoundingly lush surroundings with each new contribution to record store shelves.

Sufjan Stevens seems to have a particular talent for introducing listeners to new and interesting pops and squeaks without scaring them away.  Never operating in anything but full-blown Technicolor, Stevens has been releasing music under the banner of his own record label, Asthmatic Kitty since 2000.  A multi-instrumentalist, he plays most of the instruments in his songs, including no less than 14 on his first album, A Sun Came.  Banjo, piano, guitars, organ, horns, bells, whistles and tweets rush at you with the force of a tidal wave in some songs while dancing along, delicately understated in others. His craftsmanship for instrumental orchestration is dizzying.

Apparently AI is not above gushing, so in attempt to be somewhat objective it should be noted that if you want to dive into the Sufjan Stevens catalog, his 2010 release, The Age of Adz is not the place to start, despite being welcomed critically.  To get a better picture of the bright and whimsical side of this artist AI suggest starting with his most popular album Illinois.

Go!  Get lost in the symphonic exploration of Sufjan Stevens.

If you like: Belle & Sebastian, Coldplay, Grizzly Bear, Andrew Bird, The Shins, Regina Spektor
Check out
: Sufjan Stevens (start with Illinois, continue with Michigan and Seven Swans, and graduate to the rest of his catalog)
Feeling brave
: Animal Collective, Of Montreal, Islands, Jesca Hoop, The Welcome Wagon

AI level: Intermediate

2 thoughts on “Sufjan Stevens

  1. Leah

    I love this blog!! Indie is my favorite genre of music, and I’m always open to suggestions of new indie bands. This is perfect!

  2. Kasey Post author

    Glad you enjoy the posts! Thanks for checking out AI.

    You can also “Like” the blog on Facebook or follow ApproachIndie on twitter for daily updates on music you may want to check out.

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