Sufjan Stevens: “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross”

Sufjan Stevens's new album, Carrie and Lowell, releases March 31.

Sufjan Stevens’s new album, Carrie and Lowell, releases March 31.

A song as painful as it is beautiful, “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross” finds the artist best known for portraits of other places and people turning his lens inward on his own grief following his mother’s death. For longtime Sufjan Stevens fans hearing the 39-year-old Michigan-born storyteller whisper-sing the words “Fuck me, I’m falling apart”, as he describes trying and failing to use vice to fill his void, will damn near rip your heart out. No one is spared grief in this life but few capture it in song in as haunting a manner as Stevens does here with just his shaky voice, finger-picked acoustic guitar and window a/c unit.

Click on the YouTube video below to hear “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross.

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