Latest releases from Sufjan Stevens and Jónsi are here

A couple new releases to kick off your weekend. The latest from Sufjan Stevens “The Ascension” and Jonsi “Shiver” are in stock. Need to catch up on all the latest releases we have at Backbeat head to the recent releases section at our eShop, or head back to the home page here at and keep scrolling.

On to today’s new releases.

Sufjan Stevens – The Ascension

“The Ascension” is the eighth studio album from singer, songwriter and composer Sufjan Stevens and is the long awaited follow-up to Stevens’ “Carrie & Lowell”, one of the most acclaimed albums of 2015. In the time between “Carrie & Lowell” and the forthcoming “The Ascension”, Stevens also released Oscar-nominated music for the Luca Guadagnino film “Call Me By Your Name”; a collaborative album entitled “Planetarium” with Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner (The National) and James Mcalister; “The Decalogue”, a solo piano work performed by Timo Andres; and scored several works for ballet. “The Ascension” is musically expansive and sweeping in thematic scope. The album is at heart a pop record, Sufjan’s first. And when it came to writing these songs, Sufjan’s goal was simple: keep it moving. 80s and early 90s jams informed Sufjan’s songwriting on this record, with Janet Jackson’s brilliant “Rhythm Nation” as guiding light – both for the pop framework and the underlying political themes. The beats on “The Ascension” sound a lot like those great 80s beats: honed, skillful, yes, but also big and loud and thick and, well, just straight up fun. The hooks are obvious and catchy and like any good pop song, last way past when you’re done listening to the song. Sufjan’s vocals on “The Ascension” are soft, beautiful, natural, real, true.

Jónsi – Shiver

Shiver is the exciting and boundary pushing second record from LA-based Icelandic musician Jónsi, co-produced by A. G. Cook (PC Music, Charlie XCX) and comes a decade after his debut, Go, was released. The new album features tracks with Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins) and pop icon Robyn. It will be released 2nd October 2020 and was recorded in Berlin, Reykjavik, London and Helsinki.
Not too long ago Jónsi was traveling through London, where he met up with iconoclastic producer A.G. Cook, who he admired for his boundary-breaking work with the PC music collective. He had no expectation for the meeting, but the more they talked, the more he realized they might be perfect collaborators. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” Jónsi says. “I get tired of everything really easily. I always want things to be fun and exciting and fresh, and doing another album…I just wanted to have a different approach.”
Jónsi had made a career on sweeping music that plumbed the depths of the human experience and our connection to the natural world. Cook’s production exists at the opposite end of the spectrum: synthetic, sometimes abrasive, and often on the cutting edge of experimentalism. On paper, their collaboration is surprising, but Shiver is a beautiful record that pushes Jónsi’s otherworldly voice into startling new territories.

See you soon!

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