Sufjan Releases Christmas Box Set; Athens Show Nov 26

Who can save us from the infidels of Christmas commodity? 

Look no further, tired shopper, for your hero arrives as the diligent songwriter Sufjan Stevens, army of one, banjo in one hand, drum machine in the other, holed up in his room, surrounded by hymnals, oratorios, music charts, sacred harp books, paper-clipped-photo-copied Readers Digest Christmas catalogs—singing his barbaric yawp above the snow-capped rooftops.

Hardcore Sufjan Stevens fans used to hold their breath every holiday season as they scoured the web for news of one of his annual Christmas EPs to leak. It used to be an informal project; each year he’d collaborate with his fellow musicians to create a seven or eight song album packed full of yule tide joy and then distribute it in his circle of friends.

In 2006, it all changed when he released the gorgeous Songs for Christmas box set which contained the previous five years’ worth of EPs. The collection receives more play on my family’s Christmas playlist than any other seasonal songs. Also in 2006, Volume 6 (Gloria!) leaked online with eight more tracks.

2007 and 2008 were quiet years, but finally in 2009 Volume 8 (Astral Inter Planet Space Captain Christmas Infinity Voyage) leaked online and confused his loyal followers for several reasons. First, was the mysterious omission of a Volume 7 which was rumored to have been done in collaboration with Bryce Dressner (The National). Also to fans’ bewilderment were the numerous tracks that contained trippy, spacey electronic instrumentation – especially the 15 minute long closing track. Little did the world know that this was a sign of things to come: The Age of Adz.

Since Volume 8, no other Christmas EPs surfaced and many had given up on an chance of Sufjanish holiday cheer.

Today, however, you can rejoice for The Blue Indian brings you good tidings of great joy – a new Christmas box set from Sufjan. The 58(!!!) track collection entitled Silver & Gold is available for purchase from Asthmatic Kitty as a physical CD or digital download. You can also stream it to the right or on Bandcamp.

Silver & Gold has a great mix of traditional Christmas tunes, new original songs, and goofy sing-a-longs. The EPs’ tracks also present a variety of Sufjan staples – soft piano ballads, horn-infused choral numbers, and his more recent explorations in psychedelic electronica. Oh, and banjo strumming of course. It’s all there folks!

Middle Georgians have another reason to cheer for the holiday season. Sufjan is bringing his “Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice.” Judging by the title, it’s guaranteed to be an amazing unique experience. You can catch him and opener Sheila Saputo (a comedic alter ego of Rosie Thomas‘) at the Georgia Theater on November 26th.

If the 58-tracks streaming to the right aren’t enough for you, below are two music videos he has released in conjunction with the five EPs. A nostalgic look at “Silver and Gold” followed by an insanely grotesque claymation film for “Mr. Frosty Man.” In fact, we’d even go so far as to label it as NSFW. Ho, ho, ho!


Sufjan Stevens – “Silver and Gold”

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Sufjan Stevens – “Mr. Frosty Man”

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