Cult songwriter Sufjan Stevens has announced an ambitious new project – covering his own album ‘Enjoy Your Rabbit’.
Best known for his recent acoustic diversions, Sufjan Stevens began life making strange instrumental electronic albums. Released via his own Asthmatic Kitty imprint, his early material is often overlooked in favour of the troubadour he has become.
However those early albums could be set for a revival, with Sufjan Stevens set to re-work his electronic album ‘Enjoy Your Rabbit’. Recasting the songs in an acoustic, almost classical context, Stevens makes liberal use of the Brooklyn quartet Osso – who previously worked on the songwriter’s album ‘Illinois’.
Named after the state, the album is part of an ongoing series in which Sufjan Stevens records an album dedicated to each segment of the United States. Vowing to complete the series, has to date only completed two instalments.
Featuring minimal instrumentation, the classical elements of the album draw inspiration from such composers as Steve Reich. Reworking the ‘Enjoy Your Rabbit’ album into an acoustic format, the new record features artwork from Jessica Dessner.
Re-titled ‘Run Rabbit Run’ in a new statement Dessner claims that is was inspired by, or has created, a rabbit named Pantouf. We kid you not, read more below:
“Sufjan is a very formal person, so we set a date for the official kick-off meeting. At the appointed hour, I heard a light rapping on my door. I went to answer it, wondering why so quiet? Why no doorbell? Sufjan stood there, and he said to me in his quietest voice, ‘There’s a rabbit in your yard,’ like it’s some set up, like this is some joke.”
“But there it is, this beautiful black and white bunny, twitching and lost and afraid and unsure exactly what was going on and how he ended up under this big bush on a lawn in this big city. We scrambled to catch him, and once we did, and we put it in a box out in our backyard.”
To orchestrate the album Sufjan Stevens called on a variety of collaborators including Nico Muhly, Michael Atkinson, Olivier Manchon, Maxim Moston, Rob Moose, and Gabriel Kahane.
Sufjan Stevens releases his new album ‘Run Rabbit Run’ on October 6th in the United States. Tracklisting is as follows:
1. Year of the Ox (arr. Michael Atkinson)
2. Enjoy Your Rabbit (arr. Michael Atkinson)
3. Year of the Monkey (arr. Michael Atkinson)
4. Year of the Tiger (arr. Rob Moose)
5. Year of the Dragon (arr. Nico Muhly)
6. Year of the Snake (arr. Olivier Manchon)
7. Year of the Horse (arr. Rob Moose)
8. Year of the Sheep (arr. Maxim Moston)
9. Year of the Rat (arr. Olivier Manchon)
10. Year of the Rooster (arr. Gabriel Kahane)
11. Year of the Dog (arr. Rob Moose)
12. Year of the Boar (arr. Michael Atkinson)
13. Year of Our Lord (arr. Michael Atkinson)