In great news for those who like to cry to somber folk, Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine are getting ready to drop their first album together, A Beginner’s Mind, via the former’s Asthmatic Kitty Records. Just ahead of the LP’s release on September 24th, the folk artists have shared two more of the project’s singles, titled “Cimmerian Shade” and “You Give Death a Bad Name.”
The 14 tracks of A Beginner’s Mind were inspired by the films Stevens and De Augustine watched together while holed up in a cabin together in upstate New York, and apparently, they were on a bit of a horror kick. “Cimmerian Shade” nods to the 1991 thriller Silence of the Lambs: “My Starling flies into the rainbow /Lost in the mist, Chrysalis, kill your idols,” the duo sing in harmony from the perspective of the serial killer antagonist, Buffalo Bill. “The song is essentially a dialogue between creation and creator that seeks to find understanding to some of the same questions that we ask ourselves about existence, free will, fate, purpose, guidance and if anyone or anything out there is listening or cares,” De Augustine said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the eerie “You Give Death a Bad Name” recalls the zombie classic Night of the Living Dead: “Can you be stopped, or can evil be slain? /Is there something to be lost to surrender the pain?” Both tracks boast Stevens and De Augustine’s tried-and-true fingerpicked guitars and featherlight vocals, which mesh together wonderfully. Stream “Cimmerian Shade” and “You Give Death a Bad Name” below.
These two new songs follow Stevens and De Augustine’s previous singles, “Reach Out,” “Olympus,” “Back to Oz,” and “Fictional California.” Last year, Stevens shared his ninth studio album Convocations, written about the recent death of his father.