Sufjan Stevens banjo

This isn’t photoshopped.

If you’ve never heard of Sufjan Stevens, here’s a quote from a well-respected music journalist that provides all the background you’ll need on Stevens for this story.

“Sufjan Stevens, much like a large turd, made a big splash when he first appeared, then was flushed down the drain as quickly as he’d arrived.”

Just kidding.  That quote was from me over a year ago.

Basically, Stevens put out an ambitious, at times well-crafted, but overall bloated, 22-track album called Illinois in 2005, and solidified his success amongst the indie music community by claiming that he intended to release a similar album, complete with the same extensive research and attention to detail that went into Illinois, for each of the remaining 49 American states.  He then publicly gave up on the effort before so much as writing another state-related note.

And this week, he gave the most hipster interview I’ve ever laid eyes upon.  What follows is just a sampling of the gems you’ll find in the Guardian UK’s interview that, I swear, reaches absurd heights of pretentiousness and indie-ness in general, the likes of which a brilliant parodist could only ever hope to come close to matching in his or her work.

  • Discussion of the 25-minute closing track of his latest studio album
  • Description of his apartment, which includes multiple ongoing sewing and knitting projects along with “construction paper, glitter and pipe-cleaners as he assembles a stop-frame animation of Royal Robertson’s art”
  • Overly dramatic, mysteriously undiagnosable physical and mental breakdowns
  • Retelling of a flare-up of an aforementioned breakdown during a viewing of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The shocking revelation that he was raised by “eccentrics, hippies, spiritualists”
  • Non-ironic self-deprecation and the comparison of his latest writing process to a “second puberty.”  Stevens is 35 years old.

Sufjan Stevens essentially became wildly popular for making a bold, virtually impossible claim and immediately giving up on it without any additional effort.  In related news, I’d like to use this forum to publicly announce that I intend to resurrect the bodies of Jeff Buckley, Jimi Hendrix, and John Bonham to collaborate with myself on an upcoming seven-disc concept album about the unicorn colonization of Uranus to be released by year’s end.  Spread the news!

[via Guardian UK]


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