Eugene and Sufjan Stevens
Found myself on Spencer’s Butte
Traced your shadow with my shoe
Empty outline changed my view
Now all of me thinks less of you
“All Of Me Wants All Of You”
By Sufjan Stevens
I’ve been to the top of Spencer’s Butte many times. I graduated from the University of Oregon in Eugene in 2008, which is where Sufjan Stevens spent summers with his mother, Carrie, and his stepfather, Lowell. I lived there for a few years after I graduated.
I think “Carrie & Lowell” is the album so far this year, fairly easily. It’s about the loss of Sufjan’s mother. The vulnerability of the album is heart breaking. The grief is palpable and at the same time there is a light that seems trapped inside the music, if that makes sense.
I’ve lived in Roseburg and Eugene all my life (with one year in Seattle). Oregon is my home. The Northwest is amazing and inspiring place for a writer to work. It’s comforting to hear an album that reflects that wonder and darkness.
Here is one of the happier songs on the album.