Sufjan Stevens Shares New Version of His Christmas Rarity "Lonely Man of Winter" | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Sufjan Stevens Shares New Version of His Christmas Rarity “Lonely Man of Winter”

Proceeds Benefit Brooklyn Non-Profit Venue JACK

Nov 08, 2018 Sufjan Stevens
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Sufjan Stevens is no stranger to original Christmas music. Now he has shared a new version of his extremely rare 2007 Christmas song, “Lonely Man of Winter.” Listen below.

In 2007 Stevens held “Sufjan Stevens’ Xmas Song Xchange Contest,” in which he asked fans to submit original Christmas songs they had recorded. He then picked his favorite, Alex Duffy’s “Every Day is Christmas,” and exchanged his own original Christmas song, “Lonely Man of Winter,” with Duffy, swapping rights to each song. For several years Duffy and his friend Dave Mallory held listening sessions for Stevens’ song instead of releasing it, but he eventually became too busy with his Brooklyn non-profit performance venue JACK and so Duffy asked Stevens’ label Asthmatic Kitty if they could finally release the song, with proceeds going to JACK. Tomorrow the original version of “Lonely Man of Winter” is being released digitally, alongside this new version that was produced by Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) and features a performance by Melissa Mary Ahern. Also being released is Duffy’s “Every Day is Christmas” (listen to that below too). The two versions of “Lonely Man of Winter” will also be released as a 7-inch on December 7.

Stevens had this to say about Duffy’s “Every Day is Christmas” in the Soundcloud post for the song: “I fell most in love with one particular song because of it’s happy simplicity: Alec Duffy’s ‘Every Day Is Christmas.’ It feels, at once, like a classic show tune, the perfect parlor song, a lackadaisical bar ballad, and a church hymn. It is unencumbered with the pejoratives and prophetic exclamations of Christmas, the most complicated of holidays. Oh sure, I continue to indulge in the Christmas blues, the heavy winter dread, the melancholy expectations of the season. And I still marvel at the sacrilege, the subversive satire, and the silly nonsense of Christmas as commodity, patterned with the cartoon characters of Charlie Brown, Santa Claus, and Rudolf. For me, the entertainment of these bi-polar fantasies will never quite fade away; they are fundamental to the mysteries of Christmas. But when it came down to it, I just wanted the simple relief of ordinary, every day love, the love between two people, the kind of love that doesn’t obligate itself to the trumpet fanfares and jingle bells of a holiday spectacle. Alec Duffy’s unfettered song ‘Every Day Is Christmas’ summarizes this simple phenomenon with the most effortless of words and melodies, somehow making perfect sense out of a senseless holiday. Thanks, Alec, for this great gift. And Happy Christmas to you and yours!”

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November 9th 2018

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