When Sufjan Stevens released Illinois in 2005, it was showered with praise for its impressive lyricism and orchestral complexity. In short, it was a modern classic, good enough to claim the top spot in our 100 Best Indie Folk Albums list. Now, twelve years later, the album has been recognized for some commercial achievement, having officially sold half-a-million units and celebrating a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Stevens posted a scanned copy of the letter from RIAA on his Tumblr, writing, “I just heard the news. All respect ALL CAPS to everyone out there hustling for a better world. Make it your greatest. Stay productive. Stay positive. Stay creative. Stay sane.” Illinois is the singer’s first full-length album to be awarded with this distinction.
According to the RIAA, “In our opinion, this recording qualified for the Gold Album Award under the prescribed RIAA requirements as of August 25, 2017.”
Currently, Stevens is gearing up to release a mixtape called The Greatest Gift Oct. 20 via his label Asthmatic Kitty. It will feature outtakes, remixes and demos from his 2015 album Carrie & Lowell. He previewed a track from the forthcoming album through his label’s Instagram earlier this week:
Test cassette of Sufjan’s next release, The Greatest Gift Mixtape ???? Out October 20th! ????
A post shared by Asthmatic Kitty Records (@asthmatickittyrecords) on
Stream Illinois below and check out our review of the album;.