What is it they say? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Well that certainly seems to be the case for Redditor ‘lookitzpancakes’, aka Marc Rebillet, who back in 2014 – while working in the same Brooklyn building as Sufjan Stevens‘ Asthmatic Kitty Records – apparently found an unreleased album by the American singer-songwriter in the building’s dumpster.
“I used to work next door to Sufjan’s studio in Brooklyn,” Rebillet explained via Reddit, where he also posted images of the supposed homemade CD-R, its linear notes and artwork after rediscovering the lost gem recently.
“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,” he wrote.
The unreleased album, titled Stalker: The Definitive Album by Sufjan Stevens and held within a jeweled case with black and white artwork, seems to have been recorded in 1998, making it Sufjan’s first as it predates A Sun Came by two years.
Interestingly the album is listed in the liner notes as being released on Asthmatic Kitty Records, even though Stevens didn’t start the label until 1999. Still I wouldn’t put it past the multi-instrumental dreamboat to slap the name on there anyway.
As you would imagine from an album titled Stalker, its 14 songs are sporting some very creepy titles such as I Know Where Your Kids Go To School, No More Mister Nice Guy, Save Yourself Before You Die and my personal favourite Loneliness Is A Warm Bum.
While the legitimacy of the album has yet to be confirmed, a representative from Asthmatic Kitty chimed in on the Reddit thread to tell Rebillet “you have received a special gift. You’re hearing something only a few have ever heard.” Sounds suspiciously like confirmation to me.
The rep went on though, asking Rebillet to respect Sufjan’s wishes that the music remain unreleased. “Like any great musician Sufjan writes a ton of music. 99% of it is unreleased for whatever reason. Sometimes you just have to trust the smurfjam.
“I would rather you not share someone’s music without their permission; Sufjan or anyone else’s. 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).”
Promising not to send any “severe takedowns” or legal notices if he did choose to share the album – saying “we don’t do that” – he instead appealed to Rebillet sense of honour and decorum.
“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.”
As if all that wasn’t proof enough, one sneaky Redditor managed to dig up a 2006 interview with Delusions Of Adequacy where Stevens mentions having written songs about stalkers when discussing how his faith influences his music.
“I’ve written songs about stalkers. Is that any less religious than a song about an ordained pastor? No way.”
Check out Rebillet’s photos here with the full creep ass tracklist below.
01. I Know Where Your Kids Go To School
02. U Kan Wrun But You Kan’t Kyde
03. I Got A Good View From Where I’m Standing
04. Gonna Rock You Like A Hail Storm
05. Save Yourself Before You Die
06. Don’t Tell Anyone
07. No More Mister Nice Guy
08. Baby Give Me A Feel
09. 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