Singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens has released his latest song “Revelation II.” “Revelation II,” an ambient, otherworld piece, is a release ahead of his new album, Revelation. Stevens is in the process of releasing a five-volume album titled Convocations. Revelation is the third volume in Convocations.
“Revelation II,” opens with echoing undulations. 30 seconds in, gongs, bells and chimes begin to sound over the undulations, creating a moaning, unnerving soundscape. The piece is just over two minutes long, and contains several different build-ups and resolutions before ultimately trickling out.
“Revelation II” was released with an accompanying piece of visual art. The piece was created by Melissa Fuentes, who has worked with Stevens throughout Convocations, and whose entire video piece will be available on YouTube.
Stevens released Meditations and Lamentations, the first two volumes of Convocations earlier this year. The following two albums are set to be released weekly, and Convocations will be fully released on May 6, 2021.
Stevens wrote Convocations in the fall of 2020 after the death of his father. Each album in the project reflects a different state of the mourning process. Stevens’ father, Rasjid Stevens, passed away just two days after he released his 10th studio album, The Ascension.
“I wanted to shake off the kind of folk, singer-songwriter idioms,” he said in an interview with Double J. “I didn’t really know what kind of music or what kind of tone I wanted to take until the election happened in 2016 and the whole political climate over here started to really change. There was an unveiling of a deeper social malady in the US.” Read mxdwn’s review of The Ascension here.
Stevens took a strong stance on the concept of America with his 2020 album, The Ascension. He had previously released two albums centered around states (Michigan and Illinois) and famously intended to create an album for each state. He has not released any more state-themed albums beyond Michigan (2003) or Illinois (2005), prompting comedian Joey Clift to try to complete the project on his own.
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna