Sufjan Stevens Dedicates New Album 'Javelin' to Late Partner

Community feels void left by Richardson's untimely departure

by Nouman Rasool
Sufjan Stevens Dedicates New Album 'Javelin' to Late Partner
© Kevin Winter/GettyImages

In the world of music, where artists frequently lay their souls bare through their lyrics, there are few who manage to keep their personal lives under wraps. Sufjan Stevens is one such enigmatic figure. While his melancholic melodies have often touched the hearts of many, Stevens has been reticent about sharing his own story.

However, the release of his evocative new album, 'Javelin', came with a heartbreaking revelation. Today, Stevens took to social media platforms, Tumblr and Instagram, to provide an uncharacteristically intimate glimpse into the inspiration behind 'Javelin'

“This album is an ode to the beacon of my life, my cherished partner and confidant, Evans Richardson, who tragically departed this world in April,” he expressed. Richardson wasn’t just another name; he was an influential figure, serving as the chief of staff at the renowned Studio Museum in Harlem and the chair for the American Alliance of Museums’ Accreditation Commission.

His prominence in the museum community was evident when he was hailed as a “trailblazing leader” in an industry tribute.

Artists Mourn Richardson's Loss

The ripple effects of Richardson’s passing resonated within the artist community.

Esteemed artist and a close collaborator with Stevens, Nico Muhly, penned his feelings about Richardson’s passing earlier this year, indicating the depth of the vacuum his absence has created. Intriguingly, although Stevens has always maintained discretion about his personal relationships, observant fans might recall Richardson's presence at the 2018 Oscars.

That was when Stevens delivered a soul-stirring performance of “Mystery of Love” for the critically acclaimed film, Call Me By Your Name. Diving deeper into his emotional state, Stevens elucidated, “When you stumble upon profound love, it's imperative to treasure it.

Such connections are rare, demanding unwavering commitment, compassion, and understanding, particularly during trying times. Love with intensity, with purpose. Every moment is a blessing”. In a twist of fate, earlier this year, Stevens battled Guillain-Barré syndrome, a daunting auto-immune disorder.

This adversity saw him confined to a hospital, grappling with the basics like walking. Fortunately, in a recent Tumblr update, Stevens conveyed hopeful news of his imminent release. He extended his gratitude for the outpouring of support and sent out a heartfelt message, "Pray for global peace. Stay genuine. Cherish every moment”.