Carrie & Lowell

Carrie & Lowell

Sufjan Stevens has taken creative detours into textured electro-pop, orchestral suites, and holiday music, but Carrie & Lowell returns to the feathery indie folk of his quietly brilliant early-’00s albums, like Michigan and Seven Swans. Using delicate fingerpicking and breathy vocals, songs like “Eugene,” “The Only Thing,” and the Simon & Garfunkel-influenced “No Shade in the Shadow of The Cross” are gorgeous reflections on childhood. When Stevens whispers in multi-tracked harmony over the album’s title track—an impressionistic portrait of his mother and stepfather that glows with nostalgic details—he delivers a haunting centerpiece.

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