This week is a big one for indie folk songwriter Sufjan Stevens. In addition to today being his 40th birthday, this week marks the ten year anniversary of his most widely acclaimed album, Come On Feel The Illinoise, the second record in his oft-discussed, forever unfinished 50 States project.
A born emotionalist, Stevens has an unparalleled acumen for the craft of storytelling in song. Virtually every album he has ever recorded, including Illinoise, arcs like a great novel with complex, compromised characters and immersive scenery. And this is to say nothing of his gifts as a vocalist, orchestral composer, and versatile musician (he can play piano, guitar, banjo, among several instruments)
If you aren’t familiar with Stevens’ work, worry not! We’ve also created a playlist with a few of our favorite tracks that will do a better job making the case for his work than my praise. Thanks for all the music, Sufjan and happy birthday!