The Ascension, the eighth solo studio album from singer, songwriter, and composer Sufjan Stevens is set for release Sept. 25 on Asthmatic Kitty Records.
“America,” the album’s debut single, is out now alongside a video filmed by Sufjan.
“America,” and in turn The Ascension, is an indictment of a world crumbling around us— and a roadmap out of here.
Sufjan said the foundations of the album are “a call for personal transformation and a refusal to play along with the systems around us.” And its first single stands as “a protest song against the sickness of American culture in particular.”
“Don’t do to me what you did to America,” Sufjan sings. “Don’t do to me what you do to yourself.”
Stream “America” by Sufjan Stevens on YouTube:
“America” may feel apt for the times, but it was written six years ago –originally worked on during the making of Carrie & Lowell (its forthcoming B-side, non-album track “My Rajneesh,” was culled from these sessions as well).
“I was dumbfounded by the song when I first wrote it,” Sufjan said. “Because it felt vaguely mean-spirited and miles away from everything else on Carrie & Lowell. So I shelved it.
“But when I dug up the demo a few years later I was shocked by its prescience. I could no longer dismiss it as angry and glib,” he added. “The song was clearly articulating something prophetic and true, even if I hadn’t been able to identify it at the time. That’s when I saw a clear path toward what I had to do next.”