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Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister - New Track 'Mercury', Plus Special Live Shows
Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister : New Track 'Mercury', Plus Special Live Shows
25th April 2017

To celebrate the release of their forthcoming collaborative album Planetarium, Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister have launched a new song today.

‘Mercury’ is the second track to be released from Planetarium, and its accompanying video directed by Deborah Johnson can be seen in the player above, and the track streamed on all digital platforms here.  Planetarium is set for release 9th June via 4AD. The four will come together to perform Planetarium, accompanied onstage by strings and brass, at the Philharmonie de Paris on 10th July (tickets on-sale now), along with a handful of newly announced special US shows (on-sale Friday 28th April).  Find all dates below, or visit planetariumalbum.com for further details.

10th - Philharmonie de Paris, Paris, France [TICKETS]
18th - Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park, Brooklyn NY, US [TICKETS]
20th - Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles CA, US [TICKETS]
21st - Fox Theater, Oakland CA, US [TICKETS]

Planetarium unites Stevens’ vocals, McAlister’s beats, Dessner’s guitar performance, and Muhly’s instrumental compositions in a far-reaching musical journey: from lush piano ballads to rock anthems, classical cadenzas to electronic beats with Stevens’ distinctive vocals providing a center of gravity.

The album revolves around the ideas Stevens’ lyrics explore: mythology, astrology, science, astronomy and the intricacies of human consciousness.  You can listen to ‘Saturn’, the first track to debut from the album, here.

Planetarium began when Dutch concert hall Muziekgebouw Eindhoven commissioned Muhly to create a new piece and he enlisted friends Dessner, Stevens and McAlister, all of whom had been looking for the opportunity to collaborate on a larger scale.  After sketching the framework of the song cycle and performing the piece as a band—flanked by a string quartet and seven trombones—in various forms, the quartet put the project on hold for several years.  Returning to the raw material in 2016, Stevens and McAlister reversed their typical process, taking recordings of the live show and adapting to the studio.  “We had recorded all the arrangements and the live parts in a studio after our last performance,” says Stevens, “so years later when we all kind of settled down, we said, ‘let’s open Pandora’s box.’”

In the time between Planetarium’s conception and release, Muhly wrote a new viola concerto and a commission for the Metropolitan Opera; Dessner released Trouble Will Find Me with The National, toured extensively and moved to Paris; and Stevens recorded and released Carrie & Lowell and, with McAlister, toured the album worldwide.

Planetarium is released on 9th June on 2xLP, CD and digitally.
You can pre-order via 4AD here.
You can pre-order on all platforms here.