Diving into Sufjan Stevens’ new track, Will Anybody Ever Love Me?, there’s an immediate sense of vulnerability and raw emotion. This song, the second single from his upcoming album Javelin, sees Stevens yearning for something we all deeply desire: unconditional love. The introduction, with its delicate guitalin, harkens back to a younger, more naive Stevens, reminiscent of his 2005 track “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!” where he nostalgically reflected on lost adolescent romance.
Back in those days, Stevens exuded a hopeful aura, almost as if he was waiting for love to come knocking again. Fast forward eighteen years, and the tone has shifted. While the hope isn’t entirely gone, there’s a palpable sense of weariness. Yet, Will Anybody Ever Love Me? is far from a somber tune. Stevens crafts a soundscape that’s both bright and expansive, layering instruments and vocals in a way that feels like a beacon in the night. The gentle piano, warm strings, and harmonious backing vocals come together, building up like fire logs ready to burst into flames.
The lyrics are where Stevens truly bares his soul. Lines like “Tie me to the final wooden stake, burn my body, celebrate the afterglow” are a testament to his lyrical prowess, painting a vivid picture of someone searching for an emotion, any emotion, as powerful as the pain of longing.
The track is a beautiful blend of Stevens’ signature style and new elements, showcasing his growth as an artist. The guitalin, a type of lute, adds a unique touch, differentiating it from the banjo sounds one might expect. This choice of instrument, combined with the song’s theme, makes it a standout in Stevens’ already impressive repertoire.
In Will Anybody Ever Love Me?, Sufjan Stevens once again proves why he’s one of the most revered singer-songwriters of our time. The track is a heartfelt plea, a universal cry, and a testament to Stevens’ ability to tap into emotions that resonate with listeners worldwide.