Sufjan Stevens is releasing a new project called “Carrie & Lowell“.
In an interview with Pitchfork writer, Ryan Dombal describes the project sonically akin to “Nick Drake or early Elliott Smith than James Taylor.” the seeming perfect mood for Stevens to speak about the death of his mother back in 2012.
Pitchfork: Did your dad and stepmom impose Christianity onto you when you were young?
SS: No, they weren’t that religious at that time. We would go to Methodist church, because that’s what my great grandmother attended. I was the acolyte in charge of lighting the candles, which was really exciting to me. I had this childhood fantasy of becoming a priest or a preacher, so I would read and study the bible and then make my family listen to me read a passage from the New Testament before meals—and they very begrudgingly accommodated that for a while. I was just fascinated; some of my most profound spiritual and sexual experiences were at a Methodist summer camp.
Pitchfork: As in much of your work, there are references to Christianity and mythology on this album. What does faith mean to you at this point?
SS: I still describe myself as a Christian, and my love of God and my relationship with God is fundamental, but its manifestations in my life and the practices of it are constantly changing. I find incredible freedom in my faith. Yes, the kingdom of Christianity and the Church has been one of the most destructive forces in history, and there are levels of bastardization of religious beliefs. But the unique thing about Christianity is that it is so amorphous and not reductive to culture or place or anything. It’s extremely malleable.
Pitchfork: Couldn’t you say that about most religions though?
SS: Yeah, but some of them are cultural and require an allegiance to a place and a code. We live in a post-God society anyway—embrace it! [laughs]