Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine share “Back to Oz” & “Fictional California” from new LP
Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine are releasing their film-inspired new collaborative album, A Beginner's Mind, on September 24 via Asthmatic Kitty, and they've shared a pair of new singles. Like "Reach Out" and "Olympus," "Back to Oz" and "Fictional California" are each based on a film, in this case two poorly received sequels: 1985's Wizard of Oz sequel Return to Oz, and 2004's direct-to-video Bring It On Again. Both are delicate, folky tracks, and you can stream both below. UPDATE: There's also an animated video for "Back to Oz," which you can watch below.
About "Back to Oz," Angelo says,"“This was a song that I had written mostly at home in California. We finished its lyrics after watching Return to Oz. The words reference an erosion of a central character’s internal reality. A loss of innocence is the impetus for a journey to find inner truth. In the film, Dorothy returns to the world of Oz to find its landscape in ruins and its citizens frozen in stone. Only she can find the ruby slippers and return peace to Oz. Only we can save ourselves, but we first have to remember who we truly are."
"Angelo is mostly known for his intimate home recordings; his music is quiet and confessional," Sufjan adds. "So for ‘Back To Oz’ we decided to go for something flashier. The song has a fun guitar groove, so we gave it some bass and drums, and Angelo even recorded his first electric guitar solo. It’s a sad song—being mostly about disillusionment—but it has a great party vibe too."
"We love the dreamlike quality of ‘Back To Oz’ and how the chorus transports the listener to another world," Alex Horan of Straight To Tell, who directed the video, says. "We wanted to evoke those same feelings through the visuals."
"I love to make anything and everything come alive—the clouds, a fork—everything has a soul and can become a living, breathing thing. So the idea of creating a whole world engrossed me," video animator Clara Murray says.
Get Sufjan Stevens vinyl, including Carrie & Lowell, Seven Swans, Illinois, and Michigan, in the BV store.