Sufjan Stevens: "For so long I had used my work as an emotional crutch. And this was the first time in my life where I couldn’t sustain myself through my art. I couldn’t solve anything through my music any more. Maybe I had been manipulating my work over all these years - using it as a defense mechanism or a distraction. But I couldn’t do that any more, for some reason.
I just didn’t feel like I needed to… work through the death of my mother with noise, but with words.
I definitely felt the desire to rewind and return to a more traditional form. You have to cast out your demons and rebel against your traditions and pursue your interests through the adventure of discovery, but you always have to crawl back to the homeland like the prodigal son."