Sufjan Stevens released a colorful new single, “The Unlimited” on Feb. 5, continuing his streak of branching into experimental music. Moving away from the stripped back, acoustic style of his latest album, Carrie and Lowell (2015), fans will recognize the track’s electronic sound as being reminiscent of his 2010 release, Age of Adz.
The single is a short, atmospheric instrumental clip, which heavily draws from New Age music in its layered, slow-moving production. The song builds over its two minute runtime, as fuzzed-out drums kick in halfway through the song and eerie synth arrangements punctuate its otherwise peaceful sound.
The song was made in collaboration with Stevens’s stepfather, Lowell Brams. Brams and Stevens have a long history of working on music together, dating all the way back to Brams gifting Stevens his first Korg Poly-800 keyboard. Over the years, the pair continued to collaborate, producing an EP, Music For Insomnia, and co-founding a record label together. According to a press release from Stevens’s label, “this record is a synthesis of all of that history—it’s a reflection of the ideology that’s got us through this life.”
Sufjan Stevens has been in the midst of an incredibly productive couple of years, despite not releasing a solo album since 2015’s Carrie and Lowell. In the meantime, Stevens released a collection of demos and singles on Love Yourself / With My Whole Heart for Pride Month last year. Additionally, Stevens has contributed several songs to the Call Me By Your Name soundtrack, as well as releasing a concept album with Bryce Dessner, James McAlister, and Nico Muhly.
The song is a promotional single for Stevens and Brams’s upcoming album, Aporia. Along with the single, Stevens released a tracklist and a playlist of songs which inspired the album. The album is set to come out March 27, 2020.