Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens

Seven Swans

Sounds Familyre

After last year’s masterpiece Greetings From Michigan… it was unlikely that Sufjan Stevens’s follow-up album, released less than a year later, would be an even grander statement. Seven Swans lives up to this logic, but in a completely positive way.

Stevens strips this collection of songs down to its barest bones. Many tracks feature only a single acoustic guitar or banjo, but the strength of songwriting and melodic confluence with Stevens’s understated vocals make for a beautiful effect. Whereas on Michigan he was relating a more generalized love for an entire state, Seven Swans presents a closer, more intimate affection for individuals.

With the success of Michigan, Stevens has made tentative plans to record similar albums for the remaining forty-nine states. Though he’s not that old, it’s almost an impossible undertaking, especially considering he’s already straying from his plan with Seven Swans. But since he’s already made a tribute to my home state, I’m not all that concerned with his soundtracks for the rest of America. I’ll be happy if he keeps up the same level of quality as these two releases, regardless of which direction he takes his music. All indications show him being more than able to do just that.

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