According to Pitchfork, Sufjan Stevens has announced a new album. The Age of Adz comes out October 12.
Earlier this decade, Stevens discussed his plan to release one album for each of the 50 states in the union. The first, 2003′s Michigan, was fantastic; the second, 2005′s Illinois, might be the best album of the decade. Unfortunately, since Illinois he has released three albums, none of which were state-themed (or very good). In an interview in 2009, he admitted that the ’50 States Project’ was a promotional gimmick. Worst. Rock star. Ever.
Despite his PR failings, The Age of Adz looks promising. The recently leaked single, “I Walked”, shows a different side of Stevens than fans have seen. The strings and wind instruments that were so heavily featured on Illinois have been replaced by electronic beats and dialed-up vocals. It sounds like a lost track from Thom Yorke’s The Eraser, just with more of Stevens’ trademark earnestness and less of Radiohead-frontman Yorke’s spacey pretentiousness. The electronic influences obviously make “I Walked” less endearing (not to mention beautiful) than anything on Illinois, but that’s not to say fans shouldn’t be excited for this new release. Stevens is legitimately one of the greatest indie artists in the genre’s young history, and I’m confident that electronica is well within the grasp of his talents.