Sufjan Stevens PR 2010

One song further into Sufjan Stevens’ The Age Of Adz and it looks like the bed of electronics will only grow more complex. You got a sense of the new approach on “I Walked,” basically a standard Sufjan song with different instrumentation. He opens it up on the more ambitiously sprawling “Too Much,” which you may remember from its that live show in Ithaca last September when Sufjan called it “There’s Too Much Love.” Take a listen to the more insular, less Bitches Brew’ed studio version:

(Via Bandcamp, H/T WeAllWantSomeoneToShoutFor.)

The Age Of Adz is out 10/12 via Asthmatic Kitty with a fall tour in support. Pre-order here. (And don’t forget All Delighted People.)

Comments (39)
  1. who will be the first momo to bring up the Animal Collective comparisons for this tune?

  2. I like it a lot, but not as much as I liked the Ithaca version. I’m glad he replaced that apocalyptic jazz sound with the strings…but there was something about how the song really jumped out at you…during the non-jazzy breakdown parts it was a really fun, energetic pop song and a lot of that seems dialed down on the studio version.

  3. http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/track/too-much

    Higher quality non radio rip is up here.
    Damn it’s good.

  4. I really loved the live version. I like this one too, but it seems a little sterile. Less than “I walked”, but sterile nonetheless. I think it will take a lot of listens and a sonically cleansed pallet to really enjoy this.

  5. ha, you described a song as “sterile.”

  6. This is more than we bargained for.

  7. Definitely a bit disappointed by the lack of horns and the removal of the jazz fusion feel to it. The live version definitely felt like it had a lot more energy and just breathed more musically. I second the “sterile” comment. I wonder how he’s going to perform these live and if he’ll open it up a bit more like before.

  8. Digging it.

  9. I’m hearing a heavy Owl City – Fireflies influence here

    amirite guyz!1

  10. The production on this song is a bit…too much?

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • “Production”, to me, are the choices made in the studio that concern how to compose and record a song. This (to me, at least) refers to what kind of instruments and/or samples will be used, what instrumental parts should be louder or quieter than the rest, how to layer all the music together, how the equalization settings should be fixed, etc.

        I’m no major music connoisseur or anything but it’s not hard to tell that there are many cool elements to “Too Much”, but the strongest melody (the vocal part) is mostly drowned by all the less interesting sounds flying at you. It’s an ambitious and enjoyable track, for sure, but the production is just….well…TOO MUCH!

        The live track is definitely a better example of the kind of charming pop song this probably is underneath all the overwrought chaos.

        • see this is what i’ve always liked about sufjan. he tries to fuck with you, giving songs so much tension. as in enjoy your rabbit and several places on michigan, he buries melodies where they would otherwise be front and center. burying the songs in all that overwrought choas seems to ask how much we can stand if the song can still be pieced together. kind of like putting a puzzle together, but having every pieces an inch away. how far apart can they be before we ask what the hell it is?

          and that’s a fair assessment of production, but some nerds like to think production is more sound engineering, which isn’t really true.

      • Pretentious much?

        You know exactly what he/she means.

        • No, I really don’t. Terms like “overproduced” get thrown around so often. I’m just suggesting people say what they mean. Like, is the electronic/percussive stuff too loud for their tastes? Maybe. Is there too much reverb on the vocals? Are there too many countermelodies, like the strings and back up vocals? It’s just kind of lazy to say the production is too much. I get the pun, but it’s not really saying anything.

  11. it sounds like a bunch of farts in the background … its very distracting and mildly humorous if you still find farts funny like me.

  12. I’m kind of bummed out, I much prefer the live version :/

  13. and now officially no longer excited for this album.

  14. it is true that we seem to scrutinize ambition. i’ll definitely listen to this a bunch more.

  15. I actually like this track better than I Walked, it’s made me excited for the new record. I’ve always loved his malfunctioning synth sounds (i.e. Year of the Monkey) and I’ve been noticing him sneaking them in more and more recently. I was suprised that the electronics in I Walked where so simple considering his track record… This feels more like the electronic record I wanted him to make.

  16. This is fantastic. And the more I listen to “I Walked,” the clearer it sounds. I’m assuming the whole record will have a similar feel. It’s really exciting that Sufjan is willing to go here. I never would have asked for it, but we hardly know what we need, now do we?

  17. i hear phoenix all the way

  18. It makes me buy the record… I’ll investigate further if it’s really worth it:)

    The 2005 album – Illinois was great !

    Cheers,
    Johan

  19. I’m really liking this track. It may not sound like the live version he played last fall, but I look forward to having alternate, live versions of these songs.

  20. Hey Sufjan, we love you’re back with new music and all but don’t try to do what Radiohead did a decade ago. Anyway, it could be worse… at least you’re not writing a rap album right?

    • Oh, my.

    • I’ve never quite understood why fans complain when an artist takes a new creative direction. So you’d rather all albums sound identical stylistically? Would be a bit boring, IMO.

      Sufjan and RH are incredible songwriters wether playing guitars or synthesizers. Just embrace it, and you will no doubt be rewarded.

      Cheers.

  21. It’s good.

  22. I really enjoy both this and the live version. It doesn’t bother me much that they’re a bit different; especially considering how many different viersions Sufjan has to some of his songs.

    I’m liking where this record seems to be going. Its different enough to pique my interest, and yet still has that classic Sufjan vibe. Well done, Suf. Well done.

  23. sufjan’s being playing around with electronic sounds since enjoy your rabbit, and probably before that.

  24. Great track, sufjan with another amazing single , should be an intresting long player

  25. I’m still on the fence about the direction he is taking, but I have 100% for him for not just releasing an album like all of his other ones. I love his music and will anticipate this one too.

  26. actually I just listened to the FLAC version of this song and I LOVE it. I only heard the LQ youtube version before.

  27. whoa man. Dat ending. It’s fantastic.

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