Watch Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, and James McAlister Perform “Mercury” on “Colbert”

Planetarium Out Now via 4AD

Jul 18, 2017
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Find It At: AMAZON

Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner (of The National), and James McAlister have all teamed up for a new collaborative album, Planetarium. It came out last month via 4AD and was our Album of the Week and one of our Top 50 Albums of 2017 So Far. They previously shared videos for "Saturn," "Mercury," "Venus," and "Neptune," as well as covering David Bowie's "Space Oddity" in Paris. Last night the collective stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform album highlight "Mercury." They were joined by string and horn players. Watch the stirring performance below.

The project started several years ago when Dutch concert hall Muziekgebouw Eindhoven commissioned Muhly to compose a new piece and he asked his friends Stevens, Dessner, and McAlister to collaborate on it. Stevens and McAlister took the live recordings and adapted them into a studio recording. "We had recorded all the arrangements and the live parts in a studio after our last performance," said Stevens in a previous press release. "So years later when we all kind of settled down, we said, 'let's open Pandora's box.'"

The press release described the album as such: "Planetarium unites Stevens' vocals, McAlister's beats, Dessner's guitar performance, and Muhly's instrumental compositions-part rock odyssey, part electronic experiment, part classical opus.... Conceptually, Planetarium revolves around the cosmic ideas Stevens' lyrics explore: mythology, astrology, science, astronomy and the intricacies of human consciousness."

Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, and James McAlister Planetarium Shows:

July 18 - Brooklyn, NY - Celebrate Brooklyn! - Prospect Park
July 20 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Forever Cemetery
July 21 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater

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