Sufjan Stevens, Blue Bucket of Gold (Remix).

It should’ve come as no surprise whatsoever to discover as ineffably breathtaking a collection of songs as Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell translating to as commensurately spectacular a live spectacle as it did at London’s Royal Festival Hall last month. With this said though, given the striking intimacy that’s absolutely intrinsic to said full-length, the production itself – Age of Adz-ed to within an inch of its deathly life – sprung a spring of intense stupefaction in that, perhaps improbably, it provided exactly that: an incontestable, bona fide spectacle.

As such, Stevens shifted a not insignificant degree of impetus, or pressure, from his shoulders onto those of the songs, as he re-dressed (rather than redressed) them accordingly. And no reimagining was as radical – nor, for that matter, imaginative – as that of Blue Bucket of Gold: ‘re-rendered as a resplendent drone opus, it provides the one, and possibly only moment at which the original recording and the live representation thereof are perfectly calibrated with one another, and wondrously aligned’ we gushed unreservedly then, and now, it sounds all the more sublime. Perhaps it’s because we’re primed for it this time, although with his every move, or manoeuvre musical, Stevens increasingly seems one of life’s simply indispensable genii, in whichever guise he might’ve opted to adopt…

Carrie & Lowell is available now, via Asthmatic Kitty Records.