Sufjan Stevens has been known for his soulful introspective music for over 20 years. But he has been guarded about his personal life. His latest album, Javelin, was out on Friday through Asthmatic Kitty Records. The new album has been described widely as a breakup record, given its themes of suffering and grief. Sufjan Stevens confirmed it when he added a dedication on the album to Evan Richardson, his late partner and beloved passed on in April.
Javelin marks Sufjan Stevens’ first album as a solo artist after 2020 when he released The Ascension. It is also his first as a songwriter since Carrie & Lowell in 2015. In an Instagram post, the artist revealed more about his music and offered a glimpse into his life. He mentioned that Javelin was dedicated to Evan Richardson. He describes his partner as an ‘absolute gem,’ full of love, life, curiosity, and laughter.
Javelin Is A Result Of The Loss And Suffering Sufjan Stevens Has Endured Lately
It is a heartfelt reminiscence, a reminder to bring closer to the people closest to us and appreciate every moment we spend with them. Sufjan Stevens has been open about his struggle with an autoimmune disorder. He had to endure an extensive stay in the hospital and even relearn to walk. Addressing it has been a challenge for someone who has always valued his privacy. It was debilitating and combined with his tremendous personal loss definitely contextualizes his new release.
The album has ten tracks and has mostly been recorded at his home. His friends have contributed, including Neil Young, Hannah Cohen, Bryce Dessner, and Megan Lui. Most have provided the harmonies while Young has written the closing single, There’s a World. Bryce Dessner of The National accompanied Sufjan Stevens on guitar in Shit Talk. Javelin is accompanied by a 48-page booklet of essays and art. The ten essays focus on major events that have shaped Sufjan Stevens and his latest album.