Shortly after announcing his new album, The Ascension, Sufjan Stevens shared the sprawling 12-minute single “America.” Now the song has an appropriately lengthy B-side: Today, Stevens released “My Rajneesh,” which runs for over 10 minutes.
The epic track goes through multiple sections, which, like “America” before it, is similar in style to the music Stevens made during the The Age Of Adz era. Stevens sings on the song’s hook, “Illumination, accede my need, my Rajneesh / Hallucination, accede my need, my Rajneesh.”
The song is about Rajneesh, the leader of the Rajneesh movement that led to the establishment of Rajneeshpuram, a religious community in Wasco County, Oregon that was incorporated as a city between 1981 and 1988. In 1984, members of the community intentionally contaminated salad bars in local restaurants with Salmonella, resulting in the food poisoning of 751 people. This was the first and largest bioterrorist attack in US history.
“My Rajneesh” is not set to appear on The Ascension, but it and “America” will be available as a 12-inch vinyl single on July 1st. The Ascension is Stevens’ first solo album since 2015’s Carrie & Lowell, and his first release overall since Aporia, which came out earlier this year.
Listen to “My Rajneesh” above.
The Ascension is out 9/25 via Asthmatic Kitty Records. Pre-order it here.