Singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens has released two new songs, “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart,” in celebration of gay Pride month beginning in June.
Both songs are straightforwardly romantic — a rarity for Stevens’ music, which usually tends toward self-reflection and the cloak of metaphor. Per a press release, “Love Yourself” is based on a sketch of a song Stevens wrote in 1996. “With My Whole Heart” is a brand-new song that Stevens wrote to challenge himself to “write an upbeat and sincere love song without conflict, anxiety or self-deprecation.” He certainly rose to his own challenge — “With My Whole Heart” is gorgeous.
A portion of the proceeds from the songs will go to benefit organizations that provide support for LGBTQ and homeless youth — the Ali Forney Center in Harlem, NY and the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, MI. Along with the digital release, Stevens will also be releasing a limited edition 7-inch vinyl on June 28.
The new songs mark Stevens’ first release of 2019. We last heard him contribute some (official) soundtrack cuts from the 2017 film Call Me By Your Name and (unofficial) soundtrack cuts from I, Tonya. Stevens also released a standalone track, “Lonely Man Of Winter,” in 2018. His most recent album, Carrie & Lowell, was released in 2015.
Listen to “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart” above.