Carrie And Lowell, Sufjan Stevens's 2015 album, is one of the bleakest from the singer-songwriter. Written while grieving for his mother's sudden death, the songs speak of the darkness he found himself in during the mourning process. This release, recorded during a South Carolina stop of the Carrie & Lowell Tour (video portion also exists), captures the concert's two last performances, which embodied the "emotional arc of a memorial." Despite the depressing theme of the whole album, the two tracks on here - "Blue Bucket of Gold (Live)" and "Hotline Bling (Live)" are fueled by a vulnerable-yet-hopeful energy, and the message seems to be that "in spite of death, we must go on living in fullness and joy." To be clear, this release contains only the last two songs of the show. However, the vinyl includes a full digital download of the set recorded at North Charleston Performing Arts Center," and you can get a feel for what it must have been like to be in attendance that night.
- 2 tracks from Stevens' November 2015 performance at North Charleston Performing Arts Center in South Carolina
- translucent blue colored vinyl
- includes digital download of full 16-track set
- limited to 1000 copies in the U.S.
- music label: Asthmatic Kitty Records 2017
reviewed by rei kwondo1/2018