Seven Swans

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March 19, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Sufjan Stevens’ songs are slow and gentle accretions, like the piling on of pillows. His melodies are deceptively simple but utterly beguiling — plucked on acoustic instruments and striated with female vocalists. The New Yorker (by way of Michigan) sings in a breathy whisper similar to the late Elliott Smith, and he shares Smith’s gift for sketching in complex emotional states with telling details. Have faith, folkies, there are still fresh ways to approach a Martin guitar.

Seven Swans

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Seven Swans

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