In some ways, Sufjan Stevens typifies the public caricature of a musician from Brooklyn: weird, borderline unpronounceable name; pretty boy good looks; a level of fame and success in the indie world that borders on Beatlemania while remaining relatively unknown to mainstream audiences. On the other hand, he thwarts the stereotype at every opportunity. He made his name on two decisively uncool, epically twee masterpieces about the history of Michigan and Illinois. His music is unapologetically spiritual, anchored in a Christian ethos decisively unfashionable in indie rock's anti-establishment roots. He's more likely to show up to a show wearing a Tron outfit or giant angel wings than a leather jacket and Ray-Bans.
Via Sufjan.com Sufjan Stevens
Whatever the case, Stevens is one of New York's most prominent musical ambassadors (apologies to Taylor Swift) in the indie world and beyond, and his music's relationship with the city is at once elusive and evocative. Unlike our rock icons from Lou Reed to the Strokes down to recent fixtures like the National, Stevens doesn't typically address New York in his music, with some notable exceptions. To understand the role the city plays in his compositions, we have to dig a little deeper.More »