I am a sixteen year old girl.
To think of a sixteen year old girl, one might think of a fake blonde, short-shorts wearing teeny-bopper who spends an exorbitant amount of money on a cell phone bill, lip gloss, and listens to Taylor Swift during a horrific breakup-there are many of those for a sixteen-year old girl, and these relationships are extremely ephemeral.
But I am different.
Yes, I am a “fake blonde”, but not the platinum color you might think of.My short-shorts are high waisted, as opposed to denim. I cost little on a cell phone bill, own the same lip gloss I bought in seventh grade, and I have never had a boyfriend, or listened to Taylor Swift religiously.
But here is someone I HAVE listened to religiously: Sufjan Stevens.
This is MY Taylor Swift, the artist I listen to when I have a bad day, or even boy problems.
His newest album, Age of Adz, came out when we were both growing up.
I was growing up from small crushes to big time love, and he grew up from indie-folk to experimental electronic music.
Track 1, Futile Devices, still has a slightly indie feel, with its background guitar. I listened to this song after a boy turned his back on me, and when it was pouring rain every day where I live. This is why I recommend listening to this song with Rainymood, it only adds to the true perfection of the vocals and instrumentals. On this particular track, his voice soars to the high-pitched guitar, which is mentioned in the song. “And when you play guitar, I listen to the strings buzz/the metal vibrates underneath, your fingers” I love this song to pieces, which makes it hard to write about. You MUST listen to this song NOW. I don’t care if you exit out of my review. I want you to experience what I have experienced.
Another favorite song on this album is Vesuvius, which is what I like to call my 4AM song. In the middle of the night, when I cannot sleep, this song stimulates my deepest emotions and then relaxes them, so that sleep will be imminent.
The final track I will mention is “Now That I’m Older”. I listened to this two days in a row-one day when I was younger, the next day when I was older. This does not refer to a birthday, it refers to a day in which I was forced to grow up swiftly. In the background of this piece, a chorus sings several notes, their voice wobbling. Sufjan’s voice is edited so that previous notes can be heard over the current one. This song also speaks of heartbreak and the pain of quickly growing up, something that many teenage girls can deal with.
I have only touched on his most recent album, which abruptly changed from his others, which featured an innocent, pure indie folk melody. I write of this new album because I too, have abruptly changed. Every girl has undergone this abrupt change from knowing exactly who you are to knowing nothing. Our “4AM” music is abused during this time, because only music can give us solace. My hope is that someone will read this and instead of turning on “Dear John” at 4AM, they will instead turn to the haunting sound of “Vesuvius.” And when walking to school on a rainy day, they will turn to “Futile Devices”. And during inevitable heartbreak and confusion, I know for a fact that “Now That I’m Older” goes right along with your feelings.