Sufjan Stevens The Age Of Adz

So it’s a double surprise. After going years without a new studio release, Sufjan Stevens dropped the All Delighted People EP on us on Friday. And today Asthmatic Kitty announced that a full-length record from Stevens, titled The Age Of Adz will be out October 12. It is, as they point out, his first LP in five years. As they also point out, “adz” is pronounced “odds.” And it’s the word for a cutting tool that is used to sculpt wood:

The title The Age of Adz is a reference to the apocalyptic art of Royal Robertson (1930—1997), a Louisiana-based sign-maker (and self-proclaimed prophet) who suffered from schizophrenia. Robertson’s work depicts his vivid dreams and visions of space aliens, futuristic automobiles, eccentric monsters and signs of the Last Judgment. Portions of Stevens’ album use Robertson’s work as an idealistic springboard and a selection of Robertson’s drawings (his primary media were poster board, magic marker, and glitter) appear throughout the album art.

Despite the strong narrative and biography mentioned in the press release, Asthmatic Kitty also says that the new album will have fewer biographies, historical bits, place names, etc., in the songs. They note that The Age Of Adz will instead focus on “… the personal and primal: love, sex, death, disease, illness, anxiety and suicide …” Although one of Stevens’s gifts is that he’s always been able to mix the personal and the primal with sweeping histories, biographies, and road maps.

The Age Of Adz is out 10/12 via Asthmatic Kitty. Here’s the tracklist:

01 “Futile Devices”
02 “Too Much”
03 “Age of Adz”
04 “I Walked”
05 “Now That I’m Older”
06 “Get Real Get Right”
07 “Bad Communication”
08 “Vesuvius”
09 “All for Myself”
10 “I Want To Be Well”
11 “Impossible Soul”