Sufjan Stevens is currently working his way through the gradual release of his five-volume album Convocations, from which he has so far released the full-length collections Meditation, Lamentation, and Revelation. This week will see the release of the fourth part of the series, Celebration, which Stevens has previewed with “Celebration VIII.” The ambient track has an optimistic tone, with some naturesque sound effects (I’m not convinced there aren’t actual real-life recordings of frog noises included on this one) giving the track an ethereal wilderness feel.
Convocations was previously described in a statement, “The album is divided into five sonic cycles, each replicating a different stage of mourning. Convocations occasionally soothes and sometimes hurts; when it’s done, you’re left with a renewed sense of wonder for being here at all. In fact, Stevens made Convocations in response to (and as an homage to) the life and death of his father, who died in September last year, two days following the release of The Ascension. It is, then, ultimately an album about loss, and an album that reflects a year in which we have all lost so much.”
Listen to “Celebration VIII” above.
Convocations is out 5/6 via Asthmatic Kitty. Pre-order it here.