Myth and Madness

“The expectations of the public will never outweigh my own personal expectations.  The work that is within me, the work that I demand of myself is the main obstacle, is the battle.  I don’t put much weight in the media or in public opinion or anything like that.  I mean, that’s what this whole record is about.  It’s myself.  I’m my biggest obstacle.  Whether it’s the ’50 states’ or some junky urban expressway or whether it’s some outsider artist, it doesn’t matter.  Those are all incidental.  The centre of gravity is me and my own disfunction and to manage the psychosis—whatever—of my imagination.  I think that has always been the main problem”.

This comes about as close to a personal revelation as Stevens gets, and it seems like that whatever he constitutes this “psychosis” is largely driving the spirit of The Age of Adz.  That sense of being obsessed, torn between opposing forces that offer no easy compromise, hangs thick in the atmosphere of the album.  There’s a desperation, a helplessness, that suggests holding two dangerously incompatible ideas and not being able to let go of either, of being too consumed with your work to truly give yourself to anything else.

—Words by Matt Fink
(via Under the Radar, quoted from print issue #34)

Video for Too Much by Sufjan Stevens


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