Sufjan Stevens and Asthmatic Kitty Records cofounder, longtime collaborator and Stevens’ stepfather Lowell Brams release their collaborative album Aporia—originally slated for this Friday, March 27—today. The album is available now at local record stores, and get it digitally here. 50% of the proceeds from sales of the record will go to food-focused charities benefitting those impacted by COVID-19 (No Kid Hungry) as well as to Partners In Health.
Additionally, listen to a playlist of songs from mixtapes Brams sent to Stevens over the years here, and a playlist of Stevens’ favorite New Age music here.
Aporia signals a pivotal moment in Stevens and Brams’ relationship, which began in the early 1980s when Brams married Stevens’ late mother Carrie. Stevens and Brams maintained a strong relationship throughout Stevens’ adolescence and into adulthood, eventually founding Asthmatic Kitty Records together in 1999.
Stevens and Brams recorded Aporia over the course of the last several years during Brams’ visits to Stevens’ home in New York. After tracking hours upon hours of music, the pair began isolating the best moments and piecing them together into songs. “You know how it is with jamming: ninety percent of it is absolutely horrible, but if you’re just lucky enough, ten percent is magic. I just kept pulling out these little magical moments”, Stevens says. With dozens of takes to sort through, Brams’ announcement of his retirement from Asthmatic Kitty provided the impetus for Stevens and Brams to create a finished product. With the help of several frequent Asthmatic Kitty collaborators, including Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), D.M. Stith, Nick Berry (Dots Will Echo), John Ringhofer (Half-handed Cloud) drummer and longtime collaborator James McAlister, keyboardist and trombonist Steve Moore (Sunn O)))), guitarist Yuuki Matthews (The Shins) and vocalist Cat Martino (Stranger Cat), Stevens and Brams put the finishing touches on Aporia.