November 05, 2009

Sufjan Stevens gives up on 50 State Album Project

VIA the Pitchfork:

It has now been more than four years since Sufjan Stevens released Illinois, the second album in his proposed 50 States project. Sufjan had claimed that he was going to release an album in honor of every one of our United States. But at this rate, unless he picked up the pace drastically, he wasn't likely to ever finish the project, unless he lived to be about 200.

In a recent interview with Paste, Stevens admits that the entire ambitious concept was "such a joke."

Stevens told Paste, "The whole premise was such a joke, and I think maybe I took it too seriously. I started to feel like I was becoming a cliché of myself."

In that same interview, Stevens talks about how his focus turned toward his recent multimedia project The BQE, which consumed his attention after Illinois: "In all honesty, [The BQE] is what really sabotaged my creative momentum. It wasn't Illinois so much. I suffered sort of an existential creative crisis after that piece. I no longer knew what a song was and how to write an album. It overextended me in a way that I couldn't find my way back to the song."

Elsewhere in the interview, Stevens expresses what sounds like a total lack of interest in the album as an art form: "I'm wondering, why do people make albums anymore when we just download? Why are songs like three or four minutes, and why are records 40 minutes long? They're based on the record, vinyl, the CD, and these forms are antiquated now. So can't an album be eternity, or can't it be five minutes? ... I no longer really have faith in the album anymore. I no longer have faith in the song."

Looks like it might be a while before we hear any albums from Sufjan Stevens, let alone any albums in the 50 States project.
Posted by Tom Breihan on November 5, 2009 at 11:30 a.m.

If you haven't heard Greetings from Michigan or Illinois yet, GET RIIIITTEEE.

Related Posts by Categories

Widget by Hoctro | Jack Book


freshness601 said...

Very far fetched idea if ya ask me.

taybot said...

I never heard of this guy but that seems like a good interview!