Indie superstar Sufjan Stevens has been a major figure in the LGBT community for over a decade, and although the singer has not publicly announced his sexuality, he has done LGBT oriented projects such as the soundtrack for Call Me By Your Name, which is about a same-sex relationship. This month, the singer has also announced the release of two new songs “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart,” which are also in support of LGBT Pride Month.
Monetary proceeds from this song will fund two separate LGBT organizations, the Ali Forney Center in Harlem, NY and the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, MI. Stevens has also release a new Pride T-shirt and bumper sticker that are exclusively available from his new merchandise store www.sufjamz.com.
“Love Yourself,” is an indietronica track, that is similar in tone and style to many of the songs off Steven’s electronic odyssey Age Of Adz that was released in 2010. This track was originally a demo that was recorded in acoustic form all the way back in 1996, which was also released today, along with a reprise for the new track.
The short reprise for the track is a soothing instrumental track that blends Steven’s vocal overlays toward an ambient synth line and instrumental. Toward the end of the track the overlays continue until the track ends.
“Love Yourself’s” demo is much more stripped down and raw, and shows the singer at an early point in his career, three years before his debut and seven years prior to his first major breakthrough Michigan. This version of the track shows the beginning of his lo-fi recording process, which was somewhat of a staple of ’90s indie performers, and which Stevens would utilize for other projects such as Carrie & Lowell.
“With My Whole Heart,” is similar to “Love Yourself” in the way that it is also an indie electronica track, but this song is a lot more upbeat than the aforementioned predecessor. The bassline is a lot more funky and upbeat, that are complimented by the use of xylophone and synths that are laden throughout the track.
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna