Silver & Gold is a collection of five EPs of Christmas songs by American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens. It was released in 2012 by Asthmatic Kitty, the label that Stevens co-founded with his stepfather. The EPs are titled Gloria, I Am Santa's Helper, Christmas Infinity Voyage, Let It Snow, and Christmas Unicorn. They contain a mix of original compositions and traditional carols, as well as covers of songs by artists such as Prince, Madonna, and Joy Division.
The album is a follow-up to Stevens' previous Christmas collection, Songs for Christmas, which was released in 2006. Like its predecessor, Silver & Gold features guest appearances by various musicians and vocalists, including members of The National, Arcade Fire, and The Polyphonic Spree. The album also comes with a booklet of essays, illustrations, photos, lyrics, and chord charts, as well as stickers, temporary tattoos, a paper ornament, and a poster.
Silver & Gold received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Stevens' creativity, musical diversity, and sincerity in celebrating the holiday season. Some reviewers also noted the album's darker and more experimental moments, such as the 25-minute electronic track \"Christmas Unicorn\", which incorporates a sample of Joy Division's \"Love Will Tear Us Apart\". The album peaked at number 134 on the Billboard 200 chart and at number 10 on the Top Holiday Albums chart.
Silver & Gold is available for streaming and download on various platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music. However, some fans may prefer to get the physical edition of the album, which comes with a USB flash drive containing all the songs in MP3 format. Alternatively, fans can also download the album for free from Mediafire, a file hosting service that allows users to share files online. The link to the Mediafire zip file is here.
The album's title track, \"Silver & Gold\", is a variation of the classic song \"Silver and Gold\" by Johnny Marks, which was popularized by Burl Ives in the 1964 animated film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Stevens' version adds new lyrics that reflect on the meaning of life, death, and justice, as well as a chorus of \"Lord, come with fire\". The song was released as a single in 2012, along with a music video directed by Aaron and Alex Craig, which features Stevens wearing a silver and gold suit and performing in front of various Christmas-themed backgrounds.
Another highlight of the album is \"Christmas Unicorn\", which closes the fifth EP and the entire collection. The song is an epic ode to the mythical creature that Stevens identifies with, as he sings \"I'm a Christmas unicorn / In a uniform made of gold / With a billy goat beard / And a sorcerer's shield / And mistletoe on my nose\". The song also explores the themes of identity, spirituality, and consumerism, as Stevens questions \"What is Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills / What is Christmas time to you but an orgy of consumerism\". The song ends with a long instrumental section that incorporates elements of electronic music, folk rock, and classical music, as well as a sample of Joy Division's \"Love Will Tear Us Apart\".
Silver & Gold is not only a musical feast, but also a visual one. The album's artwork was designed by Stevens himself, along with several collaborators, such as illustrator Tom Eaton and photographer Marzuki Stevens. The artwork features colorful and whimsical images of Christmas symbols, such as snowflakes, stars, angels, trees, and animals. The album also includes a comic book by Stevens and his brother-in-law Matt Frazier, titled \"Gloria: A Christmas Comic Book\", which tells the story of a family's encounter with an angel during Christmas Eve. aa16f39245