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Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, The National's Bryce Dessner and James McAlister all have a hand in their new Planetarium project. But the latest song from the group's upcoming album sounds like something from one of Sufjan's earlier solo records.
"Mercury," revealed today in a mostly lyrical, animated video, is more restrained than the group's earlier single, the grand and synth-powered "Saturn," and Sufjan's voice is far less processed. It ends with a gorgeous, extended instrumental section as the video bursts into a swirling collage of orbiting planets and constellations, animated by Deborah Johnson.
"Mercury" feels like an elegy to lost love but may be more of an ode to the Roman god of thievery. "All that I felt within my arms," Sufjan sings, "and I am weightless. You ran off with it all."
Planetarium was originally composed for and performed at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music. The song cycle inspired by our solar system is due out June 9 on 4AD.