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Sufjan Stevens announces new album, The Age of Adz

on August 26, 2010, 9:27am

Regardless of your opinion of Sufjan Steven’s new EP (here’s ours), you can’t fault the man for being productive. Though it took him nearly five years to properly followup his 2005 standout Illinois, the singer/songwriter has returned in a big way. Today, only a week after releasing the eight-track EP All Delighted People, Stevens announced plans for the October 12th release of a brand new full-length.

Titled The Age of Adz, a reference to the apocalyptic art of Royal Robertson, the 11-track record is said to differ from Stevens’ previous works in its lack of conceptual underpinnings. As an issued press release explains, “The album relinquishes the songwriter’s former story-telling techniques for more basic proclamations unhindered by concepts: there are few narrative conceits or character sketches, no historical panoramas, no civic gestures, no scene, setting, conflict, resolution or denouement. Rather, the themes developed here are neither historical nor polemical, but rather personal and primal: love, sex, death, disease, illness, anxiety and suicide all figure in the songwriting.”

In a separate announcement, Steven’s label, Asthmatic Kitty, describes the album in the following way: “It’s much too soon to cast descriptive lots, but we can say the new album sounds nothing like the All Delighted EP (although it shares similar themes of love, loss, and the apocalypse). Nor is this new album built around any conceptual underpinning (no odes to states, astrology, or urban expressways).”

Asthmatic Kitty continues: “We can say it shows an extensive use of electronics (banjos and acoustic guitars give way to drum machines and analog synthesizers), and an obsession with cosmic fantasies (space, heaven, aliens, love), to create an explicit pop-song extravaganza, augmented by heavy orchestration, and maybe even a few danceable moments. Enjoy Your Rabbit meets The BQE. But with songs. Verse, chorus, bridge, backbeat. Gated reverb. Space echo. Get your boogey on.”

And much like the aforementioned EP, which clocked in at an hour, The Age of Adz is epic in size. The 11 tracks span over 70 minutes in length, highlighted by its closer “Impossible Soul”, which sports a 25:35 length. You can find the entire tracklist below.

The press release does not note whether the album features the same material which Stevens was reportedly working on with The National. In June, The National’s Bryce Dessner told Exclaim! was recording an album at the band’s Brooklyn studios and that he and his bandmates appeared on several of the tracks. We’ve reached out to Steven’s PR for confirmation and we’ll let you know once we hear anything.

Stevens will support the release with an already announced North American tour, which is set to begin October 12th in Montreal. Find those dates below as well.

The Age of Adz arrives October 12th via Asthmatic Kitty Records.

The Age of Adz Tracklist:
01. Futile Devices – 2:11
02. Too Much – 6:44
03. Age of Adz – 8:00
04. I Walked – 5:01
05. Now That I’m Older – 4:56
06. Get Real Get Right – 5:10
07. Bad Communication – 2:24
08. Vesuvius – 5:26
09. All for Myself – 2:55
10. I Want To Be Well – 6:27
11. Impossible Soul – 25:35

Sufjan Stevens 2010 Tour Dates:
10/12 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis Theater
10/13 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
10/14 – Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theater
10/15 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theater
10/16 – Minneapolis, MN @ Orpheum Theater
10/17 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater
10/19 – Austin, TX @ The Long Center for Performing Arts
10/20 – Dallas, TX @ McFarlin Memorial Auditorium
10/22 – Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Arts Center – Ikeda Theater
10/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
10/26 – Oakland, CA @ The Paramount  Theater
10/28 – Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theater
10/29 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
10/30 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount Theatre
11/01 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kingsbury Hall
11/02 – Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre
11/04 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hilbert Circle Theatre
11/05 – Knoxville, TN @ Bijou Theatre
11/06 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
11/07 – Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
11/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kimmel Center
11/11 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre
11/14 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
11/15 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre

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