Sufjan Stevens — Decatur

If I’m ever having a bad day, Sufjan Stevens will always cheer me up. I don’t listen to Sufjan nearly as much as I used to, but something about his music always lifts me up when I’m, say, in a foreign country and unhappy with the exchange rate and also angry that the 24-hour grocery store isn’t open 24 hours.

BUT enough about me, let’s get to two really great covers. I know, I know, I bet you’re thinking, “Why Decatur, why not Chicago??” The answer is that there are so many Chicago covers out there, and quite a few good ones, it’s too hard to choose. One day I’ll make a post dedicated to Chicago covers, but for now, I’m going to post a cover of my favorite (or maybe second-favorite) Sufjan song: Decatur, or Round of Applause for Your Stepmother. What I like about the original is that it has a really simple melody, but that it progresses and grows and ends up being a complex composition by the end of the song.

These two covers do a really good job in keeping with the original harmony. This first, by youtuber pianki, was what drew me to this song. Most people do home covers with their guitar, but these two guys actually use a banjo! They do a lot of other Sufjan covers, so check them out, but first watch this vid:

*edit* and oh my god, check out the related vid of pianki singing the same song with his little sister. It’s SO ADORABLE.

I actually had a hard time deciding which of the these videos I like better, because I like the banjo in the first, but the next video, by youtuber dkurth20002 features another two guys singing in the original harmony of the song. I think the two guitars go together really well, blending in a way that the banjo and guitar don’t–but then, maybe that takes away some of the folk-ish charm of Sufjan’s original. It’s also a little slower in tempo, but, in any case, I like it. Enjoy:

Here’s the original song: Decatur by Sufjan Stevens on YouTube


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