Always up for a bit of experimentation, indie godhead Sufjan Stevens has two new tracks out today that are superficially very different but both end up sounding roughly the same. Both are underwhelming.
First up is the debut song from his new collaborative group s/s/s, featuring Anticon label mates Serengeti and Son Lux. “Museum Day” is the first single off the “Beak & Claw’ EP,” which will be available March 20, and includes guests Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and adventurous Anticon rapper Doseone.
“Museum Day” is much too long at six minutes, featuring an extended opening that highlights Stevens’ recent enthusiasm for autotune (is T-Pain somehow the most influential vocalist of the last decade?). Rapper Serengeti dominates much of the rest of the track with slow flows offering typically cryptic Anticon references and rhymes. Here it here:
Meanwhile, Stevens is also keeping it real on the traditional singer-songwriter side, releasing a split 7″ with indie chanteuse Rosie Thomas. It won’t be released until Record Store Day on April 21, but you can hear the first track (“Where Were You?”) here:
Simultaneously low-key and anthemic, the overlong song also relies too much on the recent trend of artful autotune in indie rock (see: Bon Iver, Poliça), but fits in with the electronic leanings of Stevens’ last studio album “The Age of Adz.” Seriously though, Stevens has an amazing natural voice and, while autotune can be fun here and there, it just isn’t something he needs to spend so much time using.
The single’s B-side has Stevens responding with “Here I Am.” Cute. The single’s cover is also cute: