closet door bustdown

Sufjan Stevens comes out in emotional note about new album dedicated to his late partner

Two-panel image. On the left, Sufjan Stevens wear a black bow-tie, white dress shirt, and a pink and black striped suit jacket featuring turquoise tails. He stands behind a microphone and plays acoustic guitar. On the right, his late partner Evans Richardson lays in a bed smiling with his eyes closed and hands behind his head. He wears an orange beanie and purple shirt.

Singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens seemingly came out in a heartfelt Instagram post about his new album Javelin, which dropped today.

As he explained, his latest record is dedicated to “the light of my life, my beloved partner and best friend Evans Richardson, who passed away in April.”

The Grammy and Oscar-nominated musician has long been known for his pensive tunes that often resonate with the LGBTQ+ community. (Anyone else still cry anytime they hear “Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name?)

In the emotional post, Stevens called Richardson “one of those rare and beautiful ones you find only once in a lifetime –– precious, impeccable, and absolutely exceptional in every way.”

He went on to wax poetic about love and loss, writing, “I know relationships can be very difficult sometimes, but it’s always worth it to put in the hard work and care for the ones you love, especially the beautiful ones, who are few and far between.” Cue the tears.

Back in September, Stevens revealed he wouldn’t “participate in the press and promotion” for his tenth album after being diagnosed with autoimmune disorder Gullian-Barre Syndrome. He received treatment and was transferred to an acute rehab, “undergoing intensive physical therapy/occupational therapy, [and] strength training.”

The 48-year-old multi-instrumentalist is keeping fans abreast of his recovery on Instagram.

But in true Sufjan fashion, the music speaks for itself. Javelin is an astonishing, somber, and eloquent 10-track collection. The record marks his first solo release in three years and features nine solo-written songs, as well as a folksy cover of Neil Young’s “There’s a World.”

From “Will Anybody Ever Love Me,” to “So Are You Tired,” not a single word nor sonic moment is wasted. And the heartbreaking intimacy of Javelin is especially poignant after Stevens’ social media post.

Because his records often guided us through our own pain, it’s even more meaningful to see him lift the veil on his experience.

As he concluded in his Instagram post, “Live every day as if it is your last, with fullness and grace, with reverence and love, with gratitude and joy. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Our thoughts are with Stevens for both his loss and in his recovery.

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