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"(Planetarium) manages to balance ambient force fields, 70s sci-fi synths, chiming guitars, sublime string arrangements, Caribou-like shimmer-pulses and (Sufjan) Stevens’s penchant for R&B rhythms to majestic and yet weightless effect. Glorious."  The Guardian ****
"The album merges classical structure with ambient and prog-rock sounds, and with Stevens' voice, a mixture that is both unusual and entirely accessible."  The Sunday Times (Album of the Week)
"A gorgeous, genre-bending ode to the cosmos."  Entertainment Weekly
"A successful synthesis of the maximalist aesthetic in some of Dessner and Muhly’s classical ventures and the bold pop songcraft that’s Stevens’ forte... We’ll be lucky if the year yields another headphone album as sumptuous as this one.”  Uncut (8/10)
"In its entirety, the ambition and scope of the project is matched by the combined talent and imagination of four musical friends whose association seemed to just emerge from the ether. May there be more such fortuitous arrangements in the future."  Under The Radar
"An ambitious project that brings intimacy to the colossal weight of the universe."  Consequence of Sound
The Times ****  The Independent ****  The Irish Times ****
FT ****  The Scotsman ****

Planetarium is an album co-composed by four musicians: Bryce Dessner, James McAlister, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens.  Flanked by a string quartet and a consort of seven trombones, this unique collaborative ensemble has assembled an expansive song cycle that explores the Sun, the Moon, the planets and other celestial bodies of our solar system (and beyond) through soundscape, song, science and myth.

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.  

You can buy the album on 2xLP and CD via here.
You can buy/stream here.


The four will come together next month to perform Planetarium, accompanied onstage by strings and brass, at the Philharmonie de Paris on 10th July, along with a handful of special US shows.  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]

Watch Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens and violist Nadia Sirota perform album closer 'Mercury' in the Reservoir Studios in Manhattan, NY for NPR Music in the player above, or from here.