I doubt there as many singer songwriters working today, who are held as close to their fans' hearts as Sufjan Stevens. Sufjan's fans (SufFans?) have even remained devoted despite a lack of bona fide new material since 2005's Illinois. Though that may be because Illinois is one of the greatest and most touching albums of the decade.
And it's fair to say that new stuff from Stevens wouldn't come after a Chinese Democracy style wait. In the interim there was "Run, Rabbit Run", an album consisting of remixes of 2001's Enjoy Your Rabbit, and the instrumental, orchestral and- to some extents- experimental piece, "The BQE".
But now there are two new songs, from a new album, "The Age Of Adz" billed as Stevens' first collection of songs for five years. The songs are called "I walked" and "Too Much", and can be downloaded FOR FREE here. The songs might take fans expecting "Illinois part 2" by surprise. There is a clear electronic influence and no swooning tempo changes, though Sufjan's trademark choral backing and aching voice are still left intact.
These previews really only tell us what we already knew. That "The Age of Adz" will be a very interesting release, and that it may be difficult as it follows one of the best indie/folk albums in living memory.