An unspecified amount of time ago, an anonymous Reddit user used to work next door to Sufjan Stevens’ studio in Brooklyn. According to this mysterious fan, a 14-track CD called ‘Stalker’ was lying in a skip outside the studio that appeared to be by Sufjan Stevens. This person uploaded a picture of it to Reddit yesterday (July 6), mentioning that they didn’t know if it had been released – it definitely hasn’t until now.
I used to work next door to Sufjan’s studio in Brooklyn. One day, while he was renovating the place, he threw a bunch of stuff into the building’s dumpster. I salvaged this…as far as I know, I don’t think it’s ever been released.
The CD booklet says it was created in 1998 – 18 years ago – and its contents are mainly scratchy rock, with Sufjan’s normally feather-light vocal receiving a good deal of distortion. This is accompanied by lyrics from the point of view of a stalker, obviously, a subject Stevens has mentioned it before: “I’ve written songs about stalkers,” he said in 2006.
The album does actually appear to be the real deal – staff from Sufjan’s label, Asthmatic Kitty, have responded to the original Reddit post asking the person who uploaded the image not to share the music, reasoning that “If it was in the trash, there was a reason (most likely the expectation that it’d sit in a huge landfill outside of NYC).”
You might have expected the label – which is actually led by Stevens and his father, Lowell Brams – to intervene here but the following is all they said, appealing to the fan’s sense of honour: “AKR won’t send any ‘severe takedowns’ or legal notices. We don’t do that. Instead, I’m asking you, as someone who’s also had the special privilege of hearing unreleased music, to politely ask that you keep it to yourself.”
Did the fan abide by this request? Fuck no – they put it on 4Chan. We’re not going to link you up to this album – if you want to break The Code you can do it yourself – but it’s out there on the web. In the meantime, you can content yourself with its absurdly sinister tracklist:
1. ‘I Know Where Your Kids Go To School’
2. ‘U Kan Wrun But U Kan’t Hyde’
3. ‘I Got A Good View From Where I’m Standing’
4. ‘Gonna Rock You Like A Hail Storm’
5. ‘Save Yourself Before You Die’
6. ‘Don’t Tell Anyone’
7. ‘No More Mister Nice Guy’
8. ‘Baby Give Me A Feel’
9. ‘Uh Oh Yeah Huh Er Um Baby’
10. ‘I Know Everything About You’
11. ‘Kommin’ Ta Getcha’
12. ‘Keep All The Mace Inside’
13. ‘Let’s Fly To Another Planet’
14. ‘Loneliness Is A Warm Bum’