COLLABORATIVE ALBUM APORIA OUT
MARCH 27 VIA ASTHMATIC KITTY RECORDS
Sufjan Stevens and Asthmatic Kitty Records cofounder, longtime collaborator and Stevens’ stepfather Lowell Brams unveil a new track and video, “The Runaround,” today—watch here.
The song is taken from the pair’s recently announced collaborative album Aporia, out March 27 on AKR, and follows first single “The Unlimited.”
The video, shot and edited by ABUTTA492, features Bike Life bikers on the streets of Harlem and NYC, Atlanta and Miami. Watch more of ABUTTA492’s Bike Life videos on his YouTube channel or his Instagram. Learn more about the Miami Bike Life movement by watching the short documentary “Bikes Up Guns Down,” available here.
Aporia signals a pivotal moment in Stevens and Brams’ relationship, which began in the early 1980s when Brams married Stevens’ late mother Carrie. Stevens and Brams maintained a strong relationship throughout Stevens’ adolescence and into adulthood, eventually founding Asthmatic Kitty Records together in 1999.
Stevens and Brams recorded Aporia over the course of the last several years during Brams’ visits to Stevens’ home in New York. After tracking hours upon hours of music, the pair began isolating the best moments and piecing them together into songs. “You know how it is with jamming: ninety percent of it is absolutely horrible, but if you’re just lucky enough, ten percent is magic. I just kept pulling out these little magical moments”, Stevens says. With dozens of takes to sort through, Brams’ announcement of his retirement from Asthmatic Kitty provided the impetus for Stevens and Brams to create a finished product. With the help of several frequent Asthmatic Kitty collaborators, including Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), D.M. Stith, Nick Berry (Dots Will Echo), John Ringhofer (Half-handed Cloud) drummer and longtime collaborator James McAlister, keyboardist and trombonist Steve Moore (Sunn O)))), guitarist Yuuki Matthews (The Shins) and vocalist Cat Martino (Stranger Cat), Stevens and Brams put the finishing touches on Aporia.
Brams has been recording electronic and experimental music since 1986. He was born and grew up in West Alexandria and Dayton Ohio, graduating from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Brams worked in retail and whole-sale bookselling until he co-founded Asthmatic Kitty Records with Stevens in 1998. In 1997 he made his debut in the Holland, Michigan band Con Los Dudes.
Stevens is a singer-songwriter currently living in New York. His preoccupation with epic concepts has motivated two state records (Michigan and Illinois), a collection of sacred and biblical songs (Seven Swans), an electronic album for the animals of the Chinese zodiac (Enjoy Your Rabbit), an expansive EP in homage to the Apocalypse (All Delighted People), a full length partly inspired by the outsider artist Royal Robertson (The Age of Adz) and two Christmas box sets (Songs for Christmas, vol. 1-5 and Silver & Gold, vol. 6-10). BAM has commissioned two works from Stevens, a programmatic tone poem for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (The BQE) and an instrumental accompaniment to slow-motion rodeo footage (Round-Up). Stevens’ Planetarium, a collaborative album with Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and James McAlister imbued with themes of the cosmos, was released in 2017 to widespread critical praise, and The Decalogue, Stevens’ acclaimed score for New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer Justin Peck’s ballet of the same name and the pair’s fifth collaboration, was released last year. Stevens was nominated for “Best Original Song” at the 2018 Academy Awards for “Mystery of Love,” one of three contributions to the soundtrack to Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name, which also included Stevens’ “Futile Devices” and “Visions of Gideon.”
SUFJAN STEVENS & LOWELL BRAMS—APORIA
2. What It Takes
5. Determined Outcome
7. Afterworld Alliance
9. Backhanded Cloud
10. Glorious You
11. For Raymond Scott
13. The Red Desert
16. The Unlimited
17. The Runaround
18. Climb That Mountain
19. Captain Praxis
21. The Lydian Ring