Grimes – Realiti:
Never gone give Nico up. Never let Nico down.
After reading his interview with Pitchfork and David Eggers regarding his latest album, “Carrie & Lowell,” I have a newfound respect for Sufjan Stevens that is tinged with empathy and sympathetic cognizance. Stevens’ childhood and personal life has always been a mystery to me and his fans, as it can only be surmised by the lyrics of his music — most of which center around characters he creates, set in fictional/non-fictional backgrounds of places I’ve lived in and been to (ie, Chicago, the Midwest, New York). With these interviews, however, I can finally understand who he is and the fucked up childhood he had: his biological mother, Carrie, got divorced and left him and his siblings when he was 7, while his father maintained an emotionally-detached household. Carrie gets remarried to Lowell, divorces him, and Lowell becomes the inspirational father figure Stevens needed. And then his mother dies in 2012 and Stevens falls into booze and drugs, which clearly explains the weird (but good) collaborations with Serengeti and Son Lux, as well as his last album, “The Age of Adz.”
Sufjan Stevens has always been a private musician about his life, and for me, I’ve always wondered what drove him to be such a phenomenal writer and multi-instrumentalist. Well, he opens up with the deeply personal “Carrie & Lowell” and his subsequent interviews. I now know that brilliance comes from pain and loss and grief and hard times. I’ve been looping the entire album on NPR, and I finally get it.
So why the hell I’m writing about this? It just shows there’s hope for anybody. You can put your entire past behind you and come out as a wonderful, talented person. You can take all the shittiness life has handed you and use it as fuel to become an accomplished artist, well-respected in your field. Thank you, Mr. Stevens.
Dan Deacon’s “When I Was Done Dying” is perhaps my favorite song off Gliss Riffer. The lyrics are so profound, and when I heard that a bunch of animators were going to create a video and premiere it on Adult Swim (unfortunately, at 4am on a weekday), I was excited. The video is fucking perfect.