Sufjan Stevens has released a new ambient piece, “Celebration VIII,” from Celebrations, the fourth installment of his five-volume set, Convocations.
“Celebrations VIII” opens with an ominous edge as glitchy synths and feedback sputter around more ethereal sounds. That harsher edge dissipates as the song exhales into a far more serene middle section, and while those glitches return toward the end, the song seems to have achieved a greater sense of balance.
Celebrations follows previously released Convocations installments, Meditations, Lamentations, and Revelations, while the final volume will be Incantations. Stevens wrote and recorded Convocations in fall 2020 not long after the death of his father, and each volume is meant to reflect a different stage in the mourning process. Each installment of Convocations has been accompanied by a visual art piece by Mexican artist Melissa Fuentes.
Celebrations will premiere in full on April 29th at 12 p.m. ET on YouTube, while Convocations will be released as a whole on May 6th via Asthmatic Kitty. A five-LP vinyl box set is available to preorder and will be released August 20th.
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