It is a good time to say something about Sufjan Stevens (pronounced 'soof-yawn') again. This year he came out with an album called 'The Age of Adz' (pronounced 'awds') and an EP called 'All Delighted People' which are both as unusual as they are enjoyable. Furthermore, his cathartic attempt to come to grips with Christmas music has become a source of refreshment for the December playlists everywhere. You can listen to (and purchase) these here. And be sure to check out Sufjan's fascinating performance on Jimmy Fallon. Talk about visuals and music being in sync!
Be sure to listen carefully to 'That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!' and his version of the traditional song 'Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming'. Both are beautiful. Stevens has singlehandedly made it possible for me to listen to Silent Night again, which is quite a feat, as long time readers might recall.[You also have to love songs called 'Get Behind Me Santa' and 'Did I Make You Cry on Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved It!)']
This one hasn't stuck out to me as much as the full album has, but the song Djohariah is a many-layered feast for the ears and mind. I read that somewhere someone thought it was an apocalyptic sequel to many of the themes on his previous (and amazing) album, 'Seven Swans'.
After a few listens I particularly like the opening song, 'Futile Devices', as well as 'Too Much' and 'I Walked' (both of which you can download for free). 'Vesuvius' is catching me lately as well.