The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Spectator Sing Along Power Hour

Sufjan Stevens preview: Delia’s discography top picks in anticipation for new album titled “Javelin”

Sufjan Stevens has a special place in my heart. There isn’t a song of his that I can’t appreciate. His music has been a fall/winter staple in my life for several years now.

When I heard that he had a new album coming out this fall, I knew it might ruin my life a little. When “A Beginners Mind” came out in 2021, I am pretty sure my brain changed on a fundamental and chemical level. 

On Oct. 6, Sufjan Stevens’s album “Javelin” will be released on streaming platforms. In the spirit of new music, I decided to take it upon myself to write about my favorite Sufjan Stevens tracks to date.

I’ve ranked them into my top five songs as of now. I spent a lot longer than I reasonably should have deliberating what songs to put in this list, ranked from the bottom up.

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I started with the first song I ever heard by him, “Fourth of July.” The song describes a metaphoric view of cancer, more specifically the spread of it through his mother, Carrie.

As someone who has lost several loved ones to cancer and other devastating diseases, this almost childlike depiction of cancer was something I needed to hear. I revisit this song quite a bit. 

The second song I fell in love with was “The Dress Looks Nice on You.” This song was introduced to me at the end of winter/early spring of 2021. 

Between the fingerpicking guitar and the softness in his voice, I was shocked by how raw and genuine the song felt. 

“The Dress Looks Nice on You” has the energy of a naive and genuine romance, a soft and gentle beginning. It automatically grew to be one of my most listened-to songs. 

My senior year of high school I fell in love with his newest album release at the time, “A Beginner’s Mind.” This project features the genius talent of Angelo De Augustine

This collaborative album is full of complex and beautiful tracks, but the best by far in my opinion is “Cimmerian Shade.” The song has a dreamlike quality, and emotionally tore me apart then as much as it does now. 

I think my favorite part of this song has to be the change in lyrics from “I just want you to love me” to finally “I just wanted to love myself.” The message is strong and the melody is beautiful. 

I discovered “Romulus” earlier this year, and it opened up a new side of his music to me. The more personal side. Stevens sings about his mother on this track, more specifically their strained relationship. 

This song was an instant repeat of all of last winter. 

I spent hours listening to it, imagining the scenes described in the lyrics. If I had been asked to make this list a couple of months ago, “Romulus” would be my top song. 

But it all comes down to my favorite song of his to date, “Will Anybody Ever Love Me?” This is one of two singles released for his upcoming album. 

This song follows a similar theme to the previous tunes of this list. “Will Anybody Ever Love Me” describes the heartbreak and uncertainty of true love and vulnerability. 

His lyrics, although simple in comparison to his usual metaphoric style, are gutting and to the point. 

Stevens does such a good job finding the perfect way to describe the fear of letting someone into your life without knowing whether they will like what they see. 

For being a 48-year-old man, he sure knows how to devastate a 19-year-old girl. Needless to say, I am waiting with bated breath for the album release this Friday. 

Brandel can be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Delia Brandel
Delia Brandel, OP/ED Editor
Delia is a second-year illustration student, pursuing a career in children's book illustration and animation. This is her third semester on The Spectator. Delia is particularly fond of books, art, her cat Applesauce, music, tea, baby clothes, the 2019 version of “Little Women” and animated movies.

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