Published Oct 02, 2012Just as we suspected, New York pop experimenter Sufjan Stevens is gearing up to celebrate the holidays with another Christmas release. It's not just an album, however, as the artist has announced a full-on box set.
Titled Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, the box follows his first five volumes of Songs for Christmas with five more EPs that were recorded between 2006 and 2010.
Interspersed between the holiday classics are 18 original songs, many of which were written in collaboration with musical guests. Those other musicians include Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, Richard Reed Parry, Clara Claus, Olivier Manchon, Marla Hansen, Raymond Byron Raposa, Gabriel Kahane, Daniel, Elin, Lilly & Ida Smith, C.J. Camerieri, James McAlister, Casey Foubert, David Stith, Alex Sopp, Vesper Stamper, Cat Martino, Sayard Egan, Rosie Thomas, Sonya Hofer, Sebastian Krueger, Nathan Lithgow and Brian Wolfe.
A press release explains the significance of the project with the following statement:
Silver & Goldis more than just another Christmas album, but an ongoing exercise in theme and variation, an annual tradition that offers this songwriter a chance to experiment with fashion and technique without taking himself too seriously. Sufjan's playful (yet purposeful) expedition through the superficial landscape of sugar plum fairies and marshmallow fluff has produced an exuberant musical account of "all things Christmas" in the pursuit of the sublime. What distinguishes this project from the glut of Christmas albums saturating the market today are Sufjan's unguarded enthusiasm for the genre itself (the sense of freedom he shows in celebrating with reverence and rebellion) and the belief that Christmas music contains a multiplicity of sacred and secular significance (from Baby Jesus to Babes in Toyland) that is ultimately ours for the taking. It's safe to say that no one has taken it further than Sufjan, for better and for worse.
The CD box set of Silver & Gold will be available on November 13 from Asthmatic Kitty. In addition to the music, it will include Christmas stickers, temporary tattoos, a paper ornament, a pull-out poster, song charts and many other goodies. A vinyl box set is also due later this year or early 2013.
Lead single "Christmas Unicorn" can be streamed below.