Get All Wintry With This Delicate, Very Rare Sufjan Stevens Single

"Lonely Man of Winter" was finally released today, 11 years after Stevens first recorded it.

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Nov 9 2018, 10:42am

Eleven years ago, Sufjan Stevens held the Xmas Song Xchange Contest, a strange, one-off competition that eventually saw the rights to Alec Duffy's winning original song, "Every Day Is Christmas," transferred over to Stevens. In return, Stevens sent a song of his own to Duffy. It was called "Lonely Man of Winter," and Duffy was the only person who could access it. Until now.

Stevens and Duffy this morning released a three-song compilation, comprised of the original versions of both songs, plus a new, more electric version of "Lonely Man..." featuring She and the Sun's Melissa Mary Ahern. The compilation will benefit Duffy's Brooklyn performance space, JACK, which seeks to "fuel experiments in art and activism, collaborating with adventurous artists and[...] neighbors to bring about a just and vibrant society."

February 9 is, yes, a little early to start listening to Christmas songs in public, but we're well into the timeframe in which you're allowed to listen to "Fairytale of New York" in private without feeling too ashamed. And "Lonely Man of Winter" isn't so much a Christmas song as it is an ode to the season, which, I don't care what anyone says, is nigh. So listen to the delicate, long-unheard Sufjan Stevens song below, and feel free to entertain the notion that it's snowing outside.

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This article originally appeared on Noisey US.