Sufjan Stevens is getting ready to release his ninth album, Carrie & Lowell, which is said to be focused on the death of his mother and their unusual relationship, as well as the subject of life vs death in general. With such dismal topics, it’s nice that his single from the album, “Should Have Known Better,” sounds like a whisper of hope. Instead of thinking too heavily about the past, the tone in the instrumentals and Stevens’ beautiful voice is thoughtful and optimistic, and the lyrics are nothing short of poetry, which is assumed of Stevens at this point. When the childlike keyboard melodies kick in towards the end, a feeling of innocence and happiness do as well, almost as if he is ready to look forward to the future.
photo by Emmanuel Afolabi