With their joint album ‘A Beginner’s Mind’ arriving on 24th September on Asthmatic Kitty Records, Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine have shared two new tracks from the record today, ‘Back To Oz’ and ‘Fictional California’.
“This was a song that I had written mostly at home in California,” says Angelo. “We finished its lyrics after watching Return to Oz. The words reference an erosion of a central character’s internal reality. A loss of innocence is the impetus for a journey to find inner truth. In the film, Dorothy returns to the world of Oz to find its landscape in ruins and its citizens frozen in stone. Only she can find the ruby slippers and return peace to Oz. Only we can save ourselves, but we first have to remember who we truly are.”
“Angelo is mostly known for his intimate home recordings; his music is quiet and confessional,” adds Sufjan. “So for ‘Back To Oz’ we decided to go for something flashier. The song has a fun guitar groove, so we gave it some bass and drums, and Angelo even recorded his first electric guitar solo. It’s a sad song—being mostly about disillusionment—but it has a great party vibe too.”
‘Back To Oz’ is also accompanied by an animated video. “We love the dreamlike quality of ‘Back To Oz’ and how the chorus transports the listener to another world,” says video director Horan. “We wanted to evoke those same feelings through the visuals.”
“I love to make anything and everything come alive—the clouds, a fork—everything has a soul and can become a living, breathing thing. So the idea of creating a whole world engrossed me”, says Murray, animator for the video.
‘A Beginner’s Mind’ Tracklisting:
1. Reach Out
2. Lady Macbeth In Chains
3. Back To Oz
4. The Pillar Of Souls
5. You Give Death A Bad Name
6. Beginner’s Mind
8. Murder And Crime
9. (This Is) The Thing
10. It’s Your Own Body And Mind
11. Lost In The World
12. Fictional California
13. Cimmerian Shade
More like this
Not so much a call to arms as an exploration of the individual’s ability to disassociate from the norm.
Its sheer scale can be as daunting as the vastness of what lies beyond the stratosphere.
Cerebral in the extreme, a sea of chin-stroking ale drinkers replacing the chaos that defines festival season for many.
By going through it all, by exposing all the pain, Sufjan’s created something beautiful and vital.