The effort — which is touted as "an homage to the beauty and depth of analog sound, and how it can evoke deeply felt human emotions" — is a collaboration between Stevens and the artist's stepfather/Asthmatic Kitty label co-founder, Lowell Brams. The record release follows Brams'a retirement announcement from earlier this year.
In a statement, Stevens said the following:
This record definitely marks Lowell's retirement, but it tells a bigger story of stewardship and mentorship. He's been there since I was five. It's been a long haul. Even though Lowell doesn't have any trained musical ability, he's been a huge inspiration to me, both as a mentor and a scholar of good music. He has a great ear and great instincts. His self-education in music and the sharing of that with me helped me create a context for what I do and how to take it seriously. This music, and our relationship, and the business we've created — it's all quite meaningful as a whole. This record is a synthesis of all of that history — it's a reflection of the ideology that's got us through this life, a do-it-yourself co-collaboration.
Brams added, "It's unusual to have someone with little or no talent collaborating with someone who's got truckloads like Sufjan. It's unusual but it's fun. It's not an album that he would make on his own and it's not one that I could make on my own. But we did it. I'm proud of it. It's exciting to put out an album with Sufjan's name on it as well."
Other collaborators on the album include James McAlister of the National, Thomas Bartlett of Doveman, Sunn O)))'s Steve Moore, D.M. Stith, Nick Berry (Dots Will Echo), John Ringhofer (Half-Handed Cloud), guitarist Yuuki Matthews (the Shins) and vocalist Cat Martino.
Today, Stevens and Brams have also shared the album's first single "The Unlimited," an instrumental track that clocks in at just over two minutes. The song arrives alongside a Deborah Johnson-created video, which doubles as Stevens's album announcement. See that below, alongside the album's tracklisting.
Aporia will mark Sufjan Stevens's first full-length follow-up to 2017's collaborative Planetarium and 2015's highly acclaimed Carrie and Lowell before that.
Pre-order Aporia here.
2. What It Takes
5. Determined Outcome
7. Afterworld Alliance
9. Backhanded Cloud
10. Glorious You
11. For Raymond Scott
13. The Red Desert
16. The Unlimited
17. The Runaround
18. Climb That Mountain
19. Captain Praxis
21. The Lydian Ring
made a new age record with my step dad Lowell. We're releasing it next month. Teaser trailer is here featuring the first single "The Unlimited." I designed the album art too. pre-order here: https://store.asthmatickitty.com/products/sufjan-stevens-lowell-brams-aporia more info to come!