Watch Folks Writhe Around on the Ground in Sufjan Stevens’ New ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ Video (Directed by Luca Guadagnino)

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

There’s something undeniably jarring about the new music video for “Tell Me You Love Me,” a song included in The Ascension, the recent album from Sufjan Stevens.

Always one to push the envelope and go unexpected places with his art, Stevens linked up with director Luca Guadagnino (2018’s Call Me By Your Name) for a visually startling treatment for the song. Simply put, the clip shows a series of individuals writhing around on the ground — tastefully, and rather artistically — interspersed with various other visuals.

It’s a trip, focused on tackling the concept of yearning and love (consistent with the song’s themes):

Said Guadagnino:

“The aching feeling of loving and wanting to be loved, the mystery of bodies that clash, the uncanny aspects of nature, the sublime music poetry and voice of Sufjan—all this went into this video that I am proud to have made with the collaboration of two more great artists, Alessio Bolzoni and Celia Hempton.”

Said Stevens of the video:


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Released in September, The Ascension is the eighth full-length album from Sufjan Stevens, and his first proper full-length studio album since 2015’s acclaimed Carrie & Lowell. It’s very much a journey, spanning 15 songs and almost an hour and a half of new music.

Click here to pick up The Ascension on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up The Ascension on 2-LP from our Rock Cellar Store

The thematic approach behind The Ascension is one of resistance — “an indictment of a world crumbling around us—and a roadmap out of here,” with Sufjan Stevens saying in a statement that, “My objective for this album was simple: Interrogate the world around you. Question anything that doesn’t hold water. Exterminate all bullshit. Be part of the solution or get out of the way. Keep it real. Keep it true. Keep it simple. Keep it moving.”

Sufjan Stevens is a man with a complex musical plan, one he’s carried out for years in a fiercely original way. His methods of expression are unpredictable and, usually, singularly powerful, and that’s very much the case with The Ascension. It’s an album for now, yesterday and tomorrow, all at once.

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