You’ve GOT to Hear This: Sufjan Stevens – “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross”

Sufjan Stevens
In just over a month the long-awaited Sufjan Steven album, Carrie & Lowell will be released. If, like a lot of us, you can’t wait that long, Sufjan has a little something that will tide you over until then.

He’s shared “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross” off his March 31st release on Asthmatic Kitty. It’s a short song – just over two and a half minutes – and a return to acoustic minimalism. The poignant folk song tells the tale of drug addiction amidst bright coated vocals and Michigan/Illinois-like guitar finger picking.

After waiting five years, and spending time experimenting with some very large orchestral arrangements, the simplistic and classic Sufjan folk sound is still prevalent, if not perfected. The title of Carrie & Lowell refers to Sufjan’s mother and stepfather and features songs inspired by family vacations and themes of “life and death, love and loss, and the artist’s struggle to make sense of the beauty and ugliness of love.”

Listen to “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross” below and make sure you pick up Carrie & Lowell in March. Sufjan Stevens goes on a North American tour in April.

Review by Sean Carlin | @seancarlin89

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