American folk heroes Sufjan Stevens and Angelo de Augustine have released two new singles from their upcoming collaborative LP A Beginner’s Mind, ‘Cimmerian Shade’ and ‘You Give Death A Bad Name’.
In the spirit of joint collaboration, each new single release in this album cycle comes with an “A-side” and a “B-side”, even though no one releases physical single anymore so both songs carry equal weight. We’ve already seen this in action with the release of ‘Fictional California’ and ‘Back to Oz’, while ‘Reach Out’ and ‘Olympus’. With six songs already previewed, the duo might end up releasing the entire album before the album is properly released.
A Beginner’s Mind takes its inspiration from classic movies, with each track being rooted in a different film. This time around, ‘Cimmerian Shade’ is written from the point of view of The Silence of the Lambs antagonist Buffalo Bill, while ‘You Give Death A Bad Name’ was influenced by George Romero’s classic 1968 horror film Night of the Living Dead.
Speaking of why the duo took on such heinous subject matter this time around, de Augustine explains: “Many authors have emotional attachments to the characters they create. But in this instance, I was interested in how a character felt about being created.”
“In my imagination I was giving consciousness to someone else’s creation,” de Augustine continues. “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.”
Check out the audio for both ‘Cimmerian Shade’ and ‘You Give Death A Bad Name’ down below. A Beginner’s Mind is set for a September 24 release.