Sufjan Stevens and his long-time collaborator/stepfather, Lowell Brams, unveiled a new song, “The Unlimited,” from their upcoming New Age-inspired album, Aporia, out March 27th via their label Asthmatic Kitty.
“The Unlimited” finds Stevens and Brams crafting an enthralling soundscape that keeps a serene synth at its core while still venturing into murkier, more ominous spaces. With the introduction of thumping drums halfway through, the song builds steadily to a euphoric peak before tapering into a peaceful echo.
Aporia has been in the works for a few years now, with Stevens and Brams working on it during the latter’s visits to the former’s home in New York. The album is a follow-up of sorts to their 2008 instrumental LP, Music for Insomnia, which was part of Asthmatic Kitty’s now-retired Library Catalog Music Series.
Per a press release, where Music for Insomnia took a more “dissonant and niche approach… Aporia finds the collaborators intently shaping a more palatable, New Age-inspired album.” Over the course of their sessions, Stevens and Brams produced a slew of music, then began isolating the best moments and rearranging them into songs.
“You know how it is with jamming,” Stevens said in a statement, “90 percent of it is absolutely horrible, but if you’re just lucky enough, 10 percent is magic. I just kept pulling out these little magical moments.”
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Stevens and Brams crafted the album with the help of several Asthmatic Kitty collaborators, including Thomas Bartlett, D.M. Stith, Nick Berry, John Ringhofer, James McAlister, Steve Moore, Yuuki Matthews and Cat Martino.
Last year, Stevens released two new songs for Pride Month, “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart,” as well as The Decalogue, pianist Timo Anders’ performance of the score Stevens wrote for Justin Peck’s 2017 ballet of the same name. In 2017, Stevens teamed with Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister for the collaborative album, Planetarium, while his last solo album was 2015’s Carrie & Lowell.