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Listen to Sufjan Stevens’ cover of Arthur Russell’s ‘A Little Lost’

January 11, 2015


There’s always a risk when two of your heroes, two titans, come together to create something. You remember that James Blake and Bon Iver one right? Oh actually that’s right: you don’t.

Sufjan Stevens and Arthur “hilariously ahead of his time” Russell are not Blake and Bonibear however (as much as I appreciate their music). Stevens and Russell are colossus in the music world and mean a frightening amount to many humans. So when I heard of our Sufjan covering the late, great Russell shit was lost; then palms became sweaty. Sweaty in a nervous “please please be good” kind of way, and sweaty due to the intense words Stevens used to say about his cover of ‘A Little Lost’. Warning: features an extensive amount centred around KISSING. Oh my.

“I like “A Little Lost” because it’s all about kissing. I love kissing. If I could kiss all day, I would. I can’t stop thinking about kissing. I like kissing more than sex because there’s no end to it. You can kiss forever. You can kiss yourself into oblivion. You can kiss all over the body. You can kiss yourself to sleep. And when you wake up, you can’t stop thinking about kissing. Dammit, I can’t get anything done because I’m so busy thinking about kissing. Kissing is madness! But it’s absolute paradise, if you can find a good kisser.

“Arthur’s music is all over the place, but most of it seems to be about embracing darkness (loneliness) and ambiguity (confusion) with the biggest bear hug in the world. Catharsis! He didn’t give a shit about fads or fashion even as he was influenced by popular music, club music, and all that shitty art music at the Kitchen. He kind of cobbled it all together to create his own diverse musical language, He was funny as shit (a wordsmith, a master of the innuendo), but also dead serious (and blunt) about the deepness of his feelings, unafraid to express affection in his songs, without pandering or cliche. Arthur was real as shit. You can’t fake realness.”

Thankfully the track captures the raw tenderness of Russell’s original (found on The World Of Arthur Russell) and combines the languorous yet grandiose tones of modern-day Stevens that explodes in your mouth and jiggles about your heart. It really does.

‘A Little Lost’ is taken from an upcoming Arthur Russell tribute compilation titled Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell. The album will also features work by Robyn, Hot Chip, Blood Orange, Phosphorescent, Jose Gonzalez, Devendra Banhart, Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, Scissor Sisters, Cults, and is out on October 21 via Yep Roc.

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