It's been five years since Sufjan Stevens' last full-length album, the hauntingly beautiful Carrie & Lowell.
The album's name refers to Stevens' mother, Carrie, and stepfather, Lowell Brams. Stevens and Brams have worked together for years, and next month, the pair are releasing their second album together, Aporia. They're teasing it with an industrial-tinged ambient track, "The Runaround."
On first pass, "The Runaround" sounds like a far cry from the simple folk that's made Stevens such a prominent figure. There might not be any of his standard acoustic guitar, but the metallic soundscapes show off an eerier side of Stevens. Although the song does lean heavily into atmospheric motifs, some gorgeous, more conventional melodies do poke through, as does Stevens' heavily-altered voice: "Holding the flame / Burning a megaphone / What are you waiting for? / An open door?" "The Runaround" sounds soothing, but bears a looming sense of unrest.