This Album Changed My Life: Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell (2015)
Kilnamana’s Enda Gallery on an album that helped him let go
Enda Gallery: “Fourth of July is simple yet infinitely detailed, lyrically pure, understated, descriptive”
After Carrie & Lowell came out I blacked out my small bedroom studio in Berlin, lay on my bed and pressed play. I was in a stage of difficult transition in my life. I had attained a new and challenging clarity. I saw clearly the attachments I needed to let go, illusions I needed to leave behind and layers I needed to shed. The energy of that year for me was death of the old self, and the birth of a deeper new self.
The album gently pulls you in to this deep, lush acceptance of death and painful situations. The way Sufjan sings of incredibly moving happenings with calmness heightens their emotive effect somehow.
On the song Fourth of July, from the perspective of his mother on her deathbed he sings in his hushed melodic voice on “Tell me, what did you learn from the Tillamook burn? Or the Fourth of July? We’re all gonna die.”
Like the best spiritual works, it’s simple yet infinitely detailed, lyrically pure, understated, descriptive.
For me, Sufjan is one of the purest artists. His message is so honest and true. He taps into something so deep and is such a beautiful person that he can make any subject beautiful to behold, even if the subject is tragic.
All beauty, all forms are ultimately fleeting. Ultimately, we must let go of everything and this album, though itself a work of beauty, will help you make peace with that. Because “We’re all gonna die”. – In conversation with Niall Byrne
Enda Gallery is half of the Berlin-based duo Kilnamana; their most recent single is Kill the Kool