It’s now been just about five years since Sufjan Stevens took orchestral indie pop to epic, expansive heights on his Illinois album, which placed in our top 20 of the past decade. Since then, Sufjan has worked on plenty of different projects, like Christmas records and the BQE orchestral work, but he still hasn’t released a proper follow-up. And it was starting to look like he’d never release a new, full studio album. Talking to Paste last year, he said, “I no longer really have faith in the album anymore. I no longer have faith in the song.”
But the National’s Bryce Dessner, a friend of Sufjan, tells Exclaim! that Sufjan is at work on that elusive new album right now. According to Dessner, Stevens is recording the album at the National’s Brooklyn studio.
Dessner says, “We’ve played on some of the tracks and been listening to some of the stuff as he’s been working on it.” He added, “It’s going to be incredible. It’s going to probably blow people’s minds.”
Dessner also says that the new work won’t sound like the music Stevens has released in the past, and he offers the unsurprising tidbit that Sufjan is “very solitary in what he does”.
Nothing solid yet, then, but the prospect of a Sufjan/National record should get us through some rainy days.