The previously unreleased “John, My Beloved (iPhone Demo)” is Sufjan Stevens and his guitar, whispering gorgeous and contemplative lines such as, “Covered in lines, the fossils I find, have they no life of their own,” and the heartbreaking, “You and your ring, your life-giving string, come to me now as a friend.”
The iPhone demo is an unreleased recording from Stevens’ forthcoming The Greatest Gift Mixtape—Outtakes, Remixes, & Demos from Carrie & Lowell, a promising companion release, an even deeper breath than 2015’s Carrie & Lowell and, of course, more intimate than Carrie & Lowell Live. Last month, Stevens’ indispensable Illinois went gold 12 years after its release, and you can check out another previously unreleased demo from that album (“Chicago”) here. Stevens also recently released “Wallowa Lake Monster” and collaborated with The National’s Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and drummer James McAlister for Planetarium.
And if all that wasn’t enough, Stevens also directed the animated video for Angelo De Augustine’s “Crazy, Stoned, & Gone,” and composed the score for an acclaimed indie film, Call Me By Your Name.
The Greatest Gift
arrives Nov. 24 via Asthmatic Kitty Records. For a trip down memory lane, check out our review of 2012’s The Age of Adz, or perhaps get Stevens’s take on Katy Perry. Carry on, John.