EP Review: Sufjan Stevens – Love Yourself/ With My Whole Heart

sufjan record

With his first release since 2018, Sufjan Stevens has put out 2 singles to celebrate Pride Month, “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart.” The single will be released on a limited edition vinyl that is available June 28th with part of the proceeds going to support LGBTQ causes.

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“Love Yourself” is a completed version of a short demo from 1996. The single has an uplifting atmospheric electronic sound encouraging self-value and self-appreciation with the validation of the narrator supporting the process by singing “You are the one thing I believe in.” A warm synthesizer and tinkling percussion fills the space between Stevens’s characteristic whispery vocals.

“With My Whole Heart” continues the love theme beginning “I will love you with my whole heart” and then asking for the same from the partner. It’s a more sprightly energetic song with a clear spiritual relationship to “Love Yourself” and a unique electronic breakdown at the end.

Both songs encourage love given freely without question- a great foundation for the beginning of Pride Month. Accompanying these full songs are the original demo of “Love Yourself” and a minute long reprise of the song. With a much heavier use of electronic instrumentation this EP takes on a more pop friendly sound eschewing the introspective narrative of his last great album, 2015s Carrie and Lowell.

 

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