Entries tagged with: Sufjan Stevens
photo: Sufjan Stevens in NJ in 2015 (more by PSquared)
The spring 2016 edition of Boston Calling happens May 27-29. For a small festival (with no overlapping sets), Boston Calling continues to bring in some pretty huge names, and this one's got Sia, Disclosure and Robyn headlining, plus Odesza, Sufjan Stevens, Haim, Miike Snow, Janelle Monae, Courtney Barnett, The Front Bottoms, Charles Bradley, Vince Staples, Battles, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Christine and the Queens, festival curator Aaron Dessner (of The National) playing a set with Lisa Hannigan, and more.
This time around they're also adding a small third stage with comedy "and other performances," which will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets go on sale Friday (1/15) at 10 AM.
Full lineup below...
The Village Voice's annual Pazz+Jop issue has just been published. Polling nearly 500 music critics, you may not be too surprised, at this point, to learn that Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly topped their 2015 albums list. (It was our #1 too.) Here's the Top 10:
1 Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a ButterflyOn the singles side, Drake's unstoppable "Hotline Bling" was the critics' #1 consensus and here's the Top 10 (well Top 9, there was a tie):
2 Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
3 Carly Rae Jepsen, Emotion
4 Grimes, Art Angels
5 Sleater-Kinney, No Cities to Love
6 Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell
7 Vince Staples, Summertime '06
8 Kamasi Washington, The Epic
9 Jamie xx, In Colour
10 Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
1 Drake, Hotline BlingThe Pazz & Jop lists go all the way to albums and tracks with single votes, and you can look at individual critics ballots too, plus read a bunch of year-summarizing essays.
2 Kendrick Lamar, King Kunta
3 The Weeknd, Can't Feel My Face
4 Kendrick Lamar, Alright
5 Courtney Barnett, Pedestrian at Best
6 Missy Elliott (ft. Pharrell Williams), WTF (Where They From)
7 Fetty Wap, Trap Queen
8 Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars), Uptown Funk
9 (tie) Adele, Hello
9 (tie) Jamie xx (ft. Young Thug & Popcaan), I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)
Festival creator Adam Zacks and Live Nation have announced the lineup for the Sasquatch! Music Festival, taking place May 27th - 30th, with over 120 artists including performances by The Cure, Florence & The Machine, Disclosure, Major Lazer, Alabama Shakes, A$AP Rocky, Sufjan Stevens, M83, Grimes, Chet Faker, and Jamie xx. Created by Adam Zacks in 2002, the festival's stellar lineups have featured a blend of established and emerging artists at the stunning Gorge Amphitheatre set atop the cliffs overlooking the Columbia River, making this festival an international destination as well as a uniquely Pacific Northwest mainstay. Tickets to the 2016 Sasquatch! Music Festival will go on sale Tuesday, January 12 at 10 a.m. (PST) at SasquatchFestival.comCo-headliner Florence & The Machine was also announced on Shaky Knees today too, and just announced a tour with Grimes.
Check out the full Sasquatch lineup below...
We already knew Guns N Roses (Axl and Slash included) and LCD Soundsystem would be reuniting for Coachella 2016, and now the full lineup is here. It also includes Sufjan Stevens, M83, The Last Shadow Puppets, Ice Cube, Disclosure, Underworld, A$AP Rocky, Courtney Barnett, Grimes, Run the Jewels, Lush, Deerhunter, The Damned, The Kills, Foals, The Front Bottoms, Savages, Joey Bada$$, HEALTH, Mavis Staples, Shamir, The Arcs, Vince Staples, Beach House, Rancid, Chris Stapleton, Ex Hex, Death Grips, Bat For Lashes, Kamasi Washington, Skepta, Deafheaven, Sheer Mag, Girlpool and many more.
It happens April 15-17 and April 22-24 in Indio, CA. Tickets go on sale Wednesday (1/6) at 11 AM PST.
Poster above, and larger version HERE. Full lineup below...
by Andrew Sacher, Bill Pearis & Amanda Hatfield
photo: Kendrick Lamar at Day For Night 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Every year is a good year for new music, but 2015 felt like the best one in a while. It was an especially great year for major label rap, after 2014 was an especially slow one, but it was good for plenty more than that too: folk, post-punk, indie pop, noise, art pop, punk, etc. We only have one metal album on our list, but there's a lot more where that came from at our metal sister site Invisible Oranges, who posted individual writer lists over the past few weeks. 2015 birthed excellent newcomers, and gave us crucial returns from artists who have been doing it for decades. This year, BrooklynVegan crowned a #1 pick for album of the year with the rest of our top 50 listed alphabetically. Some of the records have songs you couldn't leave your house without hearing, and others flew pretty under the radar, but we truly love each one.
Read our top 50 below...
Like they usually do, The Guardian rolled out their 40 Best Albums of 2015 list over a two-week period, and the whole thing is now here. The top 10 has nine US/UK list regulars and last year's Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers (who seem to be more loved in the UK). This year's Mercury Prize winner Benjamin Clementine also just makes the list, coming in at #40. There's veteran representation from New Order, Dr. Dre, Janet Jackson, Iron Maiden, and Sparks if you count FFS. And there's interesting outliers like Fantasma, the South African band featuring the Sub Pop-signed Spoek Mathambo.
Stream that one and check out the full Top 40 below...
TIny Mix Tapes posted their Favorite 50 Music Releases of 2015 list today. Like last year, it's certainly a good list for anyone who's tired of seeing the same artists on every list (though it does have Kendrick Lamar, Sufjan Stevens, Future, Bjork, Drake, Joanna Newsom, Carly Rae Jepsen, Grimes and other popular picks). It's the first list I've seen with the Liturgy album, and certainly the only one that has James Ferraro in the top 3. It's also one of just a few with avant-jazz great Matana Roberts and one of few with Grouper's band Helen. It also has Sicko Mobb, who just hours ago put out a new song with Jeremih.
There's a lot of interesting stuff on the list. Read their commentary and intro here and check out the top 50 below...
You saw their songs and their honorable mentions, and now Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2015 list is here. Like with the song list, "records released this year and records that made their greatest impact in 2015 were eligible," which allows for things like D'Angelo's late 2014 release.
As usual, you can't just guess what the list is going to be by looking at what got Best New Music this year. Some of those albums became honorable mentions, and some were left off the year-end lists entirely (like Baroness, Nao, and Aphex Twin). The scores don't necessarily dictate it either. Deafheaven was one of a few albums to get a 9.0 or higher, but it dropped to #26 while the others all cracked the top 10. And then there's Carly Rae Jepsen, whose hype Pitchfork seemed to react against by giving her a less-than positive review, but they ended up throwing her on their year-end list just like everybody else. What should surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.
You can read their commentary here and check out the full list below...
Pitchfork have published their 100 Best Tracks of 2015 list. The criteria was "any track that was released in 2015 or had its greatest impact in the U.S. during this year was eligible," which allows for stuff like 2014 releases from Fetty Wap and D'Angelo to count. Including guest appearances, Kendrick Lamar shows up four times, two of which are in the top five. Drake, Grimes, Jamie xx and Future all show up three times each. It includes a few singles off 2016 albums, like David Bowie's "Blackstar," ANOHNI's "4 Degrees" and Savages' "The Answer," one-off collaborations like WOKE (aka Flying Lotus, Thundercat and Shabazz Palaces), last-minute 2015 releases like Jeremih's "Oui," and surprise comeback singles like Missy Elliott's "WTF (Where They From)." If you were wondering, Adele's "Hello" is here (ranked very high), and yes, so is Justin Bieber. There's also some representation from less commercial stuff like the hardcore band G.L.O.S.S..
Check out the whole list below...
Illustration by Derek Erdman
AV Club have published their list of The 15 Best Albums of 2015. Besides two forward-thinking California rappers (guess which ones?) and Grimes, this list leans the most heavily on guitar rock of all the ones we've seen this year, whether it's the hushed sounds of Sufjan Stevens and Julien Baker or the harder-edged Sleater-Kinney and Courtney Barnett. You can check out the full list below, and see the writers' individual ballots here.
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Morgan Walker, illustration by Claire O'Neill/NPR
The year-end lists keep coming. Today, NPR Music published their 50 Favorite Albums of 2015 list. As usual, it's all over the map genre-wise, with classical, jazz, electronic, rap, mainstream pop, lo-fi DIY, indie rock, folk, country, metal and more.
It's got some of the albums that appear on most of these lists, like Kendrick Lamar, Sufjan Stevens, Courtney Barnett, Jamie xx, Future, Vince Staples, Joanna Newsom and Alabama Shakes, but plenty of surprises too. It's the first list I've seen with the Beauty Pill album, and the first non-rap list I've seen with The Game. It's also got often-underrated albums from Colleen, Jazmine Sullivan and Low. And there's bound to be something on it you haven't heard yet.
Read their commentary here and check out the full list below...
If you're sick of seeing the same names atop every publication's year-end list, you can always count on The Quietus to deliver something almost completely different. While their Top 100 Albums of 2015 does contain Kendrick Lamar, Sufjan Stevens, Julia Holter, Kurt Vile and a few other popular choices, none of them cracked The Quietus' top 20. What is their #1? Experimental footwork producer Jlin's Dark Energy which came out in March via Planet Mu. At #2 it's Polish drone/folk artist Stara Rzeka's Zamknęły się oczy ziemi. There are a few others in the Top 10 you may have heard -- Oneohtrix Point Never's Garden Of Delete, Holly Herndon's Platform, East India Youth's Culture of Volume, Matana Roberts' Coin Coin Chapter 3, and New Order's Music Complete.
Whether you see this as made by a bunch of contrarians or forward-thinkers, chances are there's something here you may not have heard but might really like. The Quietus' page includes bandcamp or soundcloud links where available, and you can browse through their entire Top 100 Albums of 2015 list below
Cindy Lee - 'Act of Tenderness'
Gorilla vs Bear has published his Top 50 Albums of 2015 list, writing, "We feel pretty confident proclaiming 2015 the best year for new music this decade, and we'd even go so far as to say it's been arguably our favorite year in the history of this site." The list includes Panda Bear, Jamie xx, Grimes, Vince Staples, Leon Bridges, both Beach House albums (Thank Your Lucky Stars is ranked higher), U.S. Girls, Sufjan Stevens, Julia Holter, Young Thug, Toro y Moi, Empress Of, Joanna Newsom, Knxwledge, Molly Nilsson and more. Check out the whole thing below.
The list also includes Cindy Lee, the project that was formed by ex-Women guitarist/singer Patrick Flegel when two of his other bandmates (including his brother Matt) formed Viet Cong. He released the Malenkost tape and the Act of Tenderness album this year, both of which made GvsB's list (#32 and #5, respectively). You can download both for free at Cindy Lee's geocities website. Stream the latter below.
Happy December! SPIN are celebrating the first day of the last month of the year by putting out their Top 50 Albums of 2015 list. It's a diverse list, with the top 10 ranging from DIY-indie (Alex G) to mainstream country (Kacey Musgraves) to leftfield major label rap (Vince Staples and Kendrick Lamar). The list also has metal from Deafheaven and Krallice, electronic from RP Boo, Rabit, Oneohtrix Point Never and SOPHIE, R&B veteran Janet Jackson, and plenty more. Check out the whole thing below.
They also put out their 101 Best Songs of 2015 list, which is topped by Justin Bieber.
The new issue of UK music mag Uncut is out now, and it includes their Top 75 Albums of 2015 list. Like fellow UK mags MOJO and Q, they've got a lot of love for Julia Holter. They also have Sleaford Mods pretty high, lots of the 2015 year-end regulars in the top 10 (Kendrick, Sufjan, Father John Misty, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett), and lots of older musicians throughout the list (Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Killing Joke, PiL, Paul Weller, Robert Forster, etc). Check out the full list below.
Like their sister magazine Q, the folks at MOJO are fans of Julia Holter's Have You in My Wilderness, naming it 2015's Album of the Year. (It is a fine, fine choice.) For a magazine that usually has a Beatle on the cover twice a year, MOJO's albums list feels pretty contemporary, with Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala, Sleaford Mods, Sufjan Stevens and Bill Ryder-Jones all making the Top 10. Don't worry, there's room for Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Paul Weller, Boz Scaggs and and other classic artists on the list, too. Check out MOJO's whole Top 50 Albums of 2015 list, below...
British music mag Q just put out their latest issue which has Coldplay on the cover and also includes their Top 50 Albums of 2015 list (not including the new Coldplay album, which isn't out yet). It's got a lot of the bands that the UK press tends to favor more than the American press (Palma Violets, Wolf Alice, Years & Years, Slaves, Everything Everything), tons of the stuff we'll probably see on most lists (Tame Impala, Sufjan Stevens, Kendrick Lamar, Courtney Barnett), and a few surprises.
Check out the full list below...
We're happy to announce that BrooklynVegan is part of Spotify's "In Residence" series where we'll not only curate a monthly playlist, but premium users can hear us talk about it too. Head to Spotify HERE now and click "follow" to make sure you never miss an episode.
For our first show, BV editors Andrew Sacher, Bill Pearis and Dave sat down to talk about some of our favorite music of 2015 so far, and other digressions. We taped the show in late July, so keep that in mind if any of it sounds slightly dated. (A segment where Bill bets Dave a million dollars that Lush will never ever reform was cut.)
Anyone can listen, though you will need to be a Spotify Premium subscriber to hear our lovely speaking voices.
Other Spotify In Residence shows/hosts include former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, dance act Jungle, and UK grime artist Big Narstie.
Stay tuned for a brand new BrooklynVegan episode in December. Meanwhile, listen to November's...
photos by P Squared
Drake, Gallant & Drake's face / Left Shark
Sufjan Stevens continues to tour in support of this year's intimate, heartbreaking Carrie & Lowell. He already played three NYC shows earlier in the year, and on Halloween he was nearby NYC for a Jersey City show at Loews Jersey Theatre. He and his band played mostly off the new album with a few other career-spanning favorites, and Sufjan ended the set by bringing out opener Gallant to cover Drake's unstoppable "Hotline Bling" in front of a giant backdrop of Drake's face. (He did it in Baltimore the next night too.)
More pictures, a video of the Drake cover, and the setlist below...
photos by Rachel Juarez-Carr
Laura Marling w/ Marika Hackman / War on Drugs / Ex Hex / Sleaford Mods / Hinds
The 2015 End of the Road Festival happened September 4 - 6 at Larmer Tree Gardens in Wiltshire, England. The lush, pastoral setting -- it is apparently not uncommon to see a peacock wandering around -- makes for a unique setting, and this year's lineup included The War on Drugs, Laura Marling, Tame Impala, Future Islands, Torres, Ex Hex, Django Django, Natalie Prass, METZ, Saint Etienne, Sleaford Mods, Mac DeMarco, HInds and many more.
Taking advantage of the surroundings was The Piano Stage, somewhat hidden within the woods, which recreated a Victorian-era sitting room with a piano at its center. Artists like Kevin Morby, and East India Youth played unannounced sets, usually only to a handful of people. Rising UK singer-songwriter Marika Hackman played the stage and was joined by Laura Marling for an impromptu cover of Foo Fighters' "Tired of You."
More photos from the 2015 End of the Road Festival below...
by Andrew Sacher
Hoferlanz is the project of multi-instrumentalist Ben Lanz, who's played in The National, Beirut, Sufjan Stevens' band, Gabriel & the Hounds and more. He's releasing an album this week and celebrating with a release show on Wednesday (9/2) at Union Pool in Brooklyn. The National's Scott Devendorf and Helado Negro will be DJing. Tickets are on sale now.
So far two singles are out from the album. "Karla's Retreat" the kind of orchestral indie rock you might expect from someone with a resume like Ben, but "Visitaa" brings a harder, distorted edge to that sound. Check both out below.
UPDATE: PRESALE PASSWORD HERE.
photo: Sufjan Stevens at Kings Theatre in May (more by Amanda Hatfield)
The tour doesn't bring him back to NYC (which he played three times this year), but it will be nearby for a Jersey City show on Halloween at Loews Jersey Theatre. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (7/24) at 10 AM with a BrooklynVegan presale starting Thursday (7/23) at 10 AM.
Check back here Thursday morning for the password.
UPDATE: PRESALE PASSWORD HERE.
All dates are listed, with a stream of his recently-released song "Harsh Noise," below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Sufjan Stevens @ Kings Theatre - 5/1/15
After playing NYC's Beacon Theatre back in early April, Sufjan Stevens brought his tour in support of his fantastic new album Carrie & Lowell to NYC last night (5/1) to begin a two-night stand at Brooklyn's recently-reopened Kings Theatre. After opening with the delicate instrumental "Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou" from 2003's Michigan, Sufjan proceeded to play 10 of Carrie & Lowell's 11 tracks all in a row, almost in the exact order as the album tracklist. He didn't talk at all during that section, and he and his backing band (including Dawn Landes, who's playing with him on this tour) kept things mostly as bare-bones as the album. After that part, he played a couple of his more recent songs that fit the stripped-down vibe of this show ("Futile Devices" from The Age of Adz and "The Owl and the Tanager" from All Delighted People), as well as a few Seven Swans cuts, before wrapping up the pre-encore set with Carrie & Lowell closer "Blue Bucket of Gold." Then he returned for an encore of all early-mid '00s songs, including set-closer "Chicago."
The Kings Theatre really was the perfect atmosphere for this kind of show, and both Sufjan and opener Naomi Shelton said on stage how good it was to be on Flatbush Ave. Sufjan ended up telling a story of living in the area and going by Cortelyou Carpets to take a picture of the sign every day.
Sufjan returns to Kings tonight (5/2) with Moses Sumney, which is sold out. More pictures from last night's show, and Sufjan's setlist and a couple videos, below...
by Andrew Sacher
There are several references to places within Oregon throughout Carrie & Lowell; it's where Stevens spent three summers, between ages 5 and 8, with his mother and stepfather. These early memories are not just important because they came at a formative point in Stevens' life--they're actually some of the only recollections he has of his mother, who abandoned his family when he was just a year old. Her five-year marriage to Lowell Brams in the early '80s seemingly marked a high-point in a life struck by hardship; Carrie suffered from depression, schizophrenia, and alcoholism, and her contact with Stevens and his siblings, who grew up in Michigan with their dad and stepmother, was intermittent up until her death. [Pitchfork]Sufjan Stevens is a week away from releasing his new album, Carrie & Lowell (due 3/31 via Asthmatic Kitty), and he's now streaming it in full. It's his most bare-bones album yet, with little more than acoustic guitar, piano and atmospheric textures; and also one of his heaviest lyrically. Much of the album is about the death of his mother Carrie, who as the quote above from Pitchfork's feature on the album points out, didn't have much contact with Sufjan throughout his life. "It was so terrifying to encounter death and have to reconcile that, and express love, for someone so unfamiliar," he said. "Her death was so devastating to me because of the vacancy within me. I was trying to gather as much as I could of her, in my mind, my memory, my recollections, but I have nothing."