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Culture Shock

Sufjan Stevens Releases 2007 Exclusive "Lonely Man of Winter"

Sufjan Stevens wrote “Lonely Man of Winter” for the winner of his “Xmas Song Xchange Contest” with Asthmatic Kitty Records in 2007 and has since kept it under wraps. Until now, that is.

Stevens welcomed the winter into the world today with the digital release of the original recording of “Lonely Man of Winter,” as well as a new version produced by Doveman featuring Melissa Mary Ahern. A third song was released alongside the two versions of “Lonely Man of Winter.” The single is called “Every Day is Christmas” and is a production by Alec Duffy.

Who is Alec Duffy, you ask? He’s the winner!

Sufjan Stevens’ song exchange contest in 2007 challenged people to write and submit an original Christmas song to Stevens’ label, Asthmatic Kitty. The winner would then trade the rights to their song for the rights to an exclusive Sufjan Stevens song. Duffy’s “Every Day is Christmas” was the winner and inspiration for “Lonely Man of Winter.” Until now, no one heard “Lonely Man of Winter” except Duffy and the people who attended the listening sessions he held at his house to show the song and mimic “a time before the internet.”

Sufjan Stevens and Alec Duffy released their respective songs together as singles with all proceeds going to JACK, a non-profit art and music venue in Brooklyn founded by Duffy in 2012. The money will help JACK’s mission “to fuel experimentation in art and activism and help it serve as a launch pad for the next generation of artists.”

Both versions of “Lonely Man of Winter” will be available December 9 on limited edition 7-inch vinyl.


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