Sufjan Stevens’ return to his acoustic-based roots is as welcome as it is devastating on Carrie & Lowell‘s first single, “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross”. While he has always used poetic language in his songwriting, “Cross” finds Stevens examining some his darkest subject matter. “I’ll drive that stake through the center of my heart … Fuck me, I’m falling apart” he sings near the song’s end. There’s no hiding behind religious idols. Here, Sufjan Stevens steps out of the shadows and into the dark.
Carrie & Lowell is out on 31 March via Asthmatic Kitty.