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Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister - Official 'Venus' Video, Album Released On Friday
Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister : Official 'Venus' Video, Album Released On Friday
5th June 2017

Planetarium, the highly-anticipated collaborative album from Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister is out this Friday (June 9th).

Today, new song ‘Venus’ has premiered, coming with an accompanying video made by Sufjan.  To invoke Venus, the goddess of love, sex, beauty and fertility, Stevens animated imagery from pulp covers, pin ups and vintage magazines. The video celebrates the artfulness and beauty of the human form.  Listen to 'Venus' here, or watch below.

Bryce, James, Nico and Sufjan will play a limited run of dates next month in Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Oakland, accompanied onstage by strings and brass,.  All listed below.  In addition, there are three exclusive listening sessions this week in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.  Some spots are left for the Seattle event on June 7th at the Pacific Science Laser Dome—visit here for entry.

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 centre 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.