A Sun Came

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A Sun Came
Cover to the initial release
Studio album by Sufjan Stevens
Released June 13, 1999 (1999-06-13)
Recorded 1998 ("Joy! Joy! Joy!" – 2001, "You Are the Rake" – 2004)
Length 72:18 / 78:43 (reissue)
Label Asthmatic Kitty
Producer Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens chronology
A Sun Came
Enjoy Your Rabbit
2004 reissue cover
A Sun Came album cover - Sufjan Stevens.jpg

A Sun Came is the debut folk rock album by Sufjan Stevens, released in 1999 on Asthmatic Kitty. It was reissued four years later. Among Stevens' back catalog, A Sun Came is notable for being recorded on four-track.

Thematic elements[edit]

As noted in AllMusic review of the album, the album explores many types of ethnic music from throughout the globe, ranging from Celtic, Indian, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Far Eastern and American folk music. The record as a whole was dubbed indie folk,[1] indie rock,[2] Celtic rock,[3] alternative rock,[4] and lo-fi[5] by different professional music critics.

Stevens himself has described the album's sound as incorporating "traditional pop music, medieval instrumentation with Middle Eastern inflections, tape loops, digital samples, literary vocals, manic percussion, woodwinds, sitar, amp distortion and Arabic chants."[6]

Like many Stevens's albums that would follow, A Sun Came features a multitude of instruments ranging from banjo, sitar, oboe and xylophone. In total the album features Stevens playing fourteen instruments.[7]


Stevens originally recorded the bulk of the album in Holland, Michigan in 1998, with some post-editing performed at Hope College Recording Arts Center—the short track "Godzuki" was written by his siblings in 1981 and recorded by their stepfather Lowell Brams. "Joy! Joy! Joy!" was recorded for the 2001 re-release and "You Are the Rake"—a reworking of "Rake"—was recorded for the 2004 re-release.

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars [8]
Pitchfork(6.0) [9](re-release)

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Sufjan Stevens.

1."We Are What You Say"5:20
2."A Winner Needs a Wand"5:44
4."Siamese Twins"0:15
6."Dumb I Sound"5:48
7."Wordsworth's Ridge"4:54
8."Belly Button"0:09
9."Rice Pudding"2:24
10."A Loverless Bed (Without Remission)"6:17
12."Super Sexy Woman"2:42
13."The Oracle Said Wander"5:39
14."Happy Birthday"2:45
17."Ya Leil"5:38
18."A Sun Came"2:11
19."Satan's Saxophones"2:31
Total length:72:18



  1. ^ "Sufjan Stevens Run Rabbit Run + The BQE (CD/DVD)". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "Sufjan Stevens A Sun Came". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Sufjan Stevens A Sun Came". Exclaim!. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "Sufjan Stevens Enjoy Your Rabbit". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "Sufjan Stevens The BQE [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 August 2016. 
  6. ^ asthmatickitty.com Archived July 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ www.pitchforkmedia.com
  8. ^ AllMusic review
  9. ^ Pitchfork review