These days Sufjan Stevens gives the impression of being a very troubled soul. First it was the existential crisis he endured around the time of the release of The BQE, two years ago, and now it seems he may have been brought to the brink of a nervous breakdown during a viewing of the Wes Anderson film, Fantastic Mr Fox.
In an interview with the Observer, it was revealed that the film triggered a “sensory overload” for the songwriter, causing him to take a Xanax.
The newspaper reports that Stevens suffers from depression and strange fits where he experiences pins and needles, “adrenaline surges” and the sensation of feeling “possessed”. Physicians advised him to stay away from crowds and loud noises, which seemed to work until he found himself watching Anderson’s adaptation of the Roald Dahl story.
“It’s very hormonal, a lot of this stuff feels like a second puberty,” he said. “It’s way more self-obsessed and leans towards masochism and solipsism and paranoia and anxiety. I’m a very self-conscious person, I think we all are, but I’m especially not very comfortable in my body. I always feel really weird and awkward on the street or on the stage. It has nothing to do with circumstances, it’s just an ongoing psychological state, like white noise.”
In the aftermath of watching the movie he noted that Fantastic Mr Fox was ‘beautiful’ and that he had ‘no negative response’. Stevens is currently enjoying a UK tour, followed by European dates including a set at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival.