Sufjan Stevens will be releasing a five-volume album, Convocations, on May 6. Along with the announcement of the upcoming album, the artist has shared the first single, titled “Meditation V.”
Convocations will include five parts, which include Meditations, Lamentations, Revelations, Celebrations and Incantations. The album had been written and recorded during the fall of 2020, Stevens reflecting on the passing of his father in September. The various volumes are meant to represent a stage of grieving. The first 10 tracks of the album, Meditations, will be released on Thursday, April 8.
Along with the album, Stevens collaborated with Mexican artist Melissa Fuentes to create a longform generative video art piece. Sections of the video art piece will represent each single and volume on YouTube. The album will feature 49 tracks total, acting both as a reflection on present times, and as a form of therapy while working through loss.
“Meditation V” features flowing synths that bring a sense of calm, while quivering sounds layered beneath them build up a sense of anxiety, which is an often underlying emotion found upon losing a loved one. The track builds up, trying to retain a sense of calm as heavier synths wash over them.
The visualizer for “Mediation V” features dripping red blobs, similar to a lava lamp but with sharper edges. The visualizer stays on a loop, the blobs continuing to drip downward throughout the length of the song. A 5-LP boxset for the album will be available on vinyl on August 20, with pre-orders going live on April 8.
Stevens released the album The Ascension last September, while last July, he released a 10 minute, non-album track titled “My Rajneesh.” In January, he collaborated with CARM for the single “Trouble.”
Photo credit: Sharon Alagna