THAT DRESS LOOKS NICE ON YOU – Sufjan Stevens

From the initial pluck of the guitar on That Dress Looks Nice on You, I know I’m in love with this song. The riff is smooth and gentle, inviting the listener in.

After a few repeats, Sufjan starts in with his melodic voice, stating “I can see a lot of life in you/I can see a lot of bright in you/and I think that dress looks nice on you.” The perspective here seems to be on a person whom he loves, perhaps a woman.  Sufjan is focused more on what’s inside of the person rather than the exterior features. “That dress” is just an afterthought.

Another loop of chords is added as Sufjan describes her further, saying he can “see a bed and make it too” and seeing a “fireside turn blue.” Blue indicates the most intense heat of a fire source, as if his feeling were intensifying on the subject as he dwells on the life inside.  So much so that he believes he could build his own life with them.

The banjo comes in next, pulling at my heart strings with graceful runs imitating a flutter. The main verse is repeated here with “a lot of life in you” and a brief visit to the world’s overlook on what’s inside. Afterwards, the chords becomes more stagnant, resolving the song to a more steady feeling rather than fleeting. It as if the first verses are winds in your hair and the next are the wind at a standstill, watching you rather than becoming part of you.

But not long after, we are back to the swelling riffs that made me fall in love with this one. This song just fills me up for whatever reason. I’m both happy and am left with an excited, waiting feeling as if to say: what’s next? Sufjan, you’ve got a lot of life in you and I love listening to it.

If you’ve never heard of Sufjan Stevens, I highly encourage to try out some of his music. All of his albums are quite diverse and very creative. I was first introduced to him in college by having a young man stick a earbud into my ear to listen to Super Sexy Woman (apparently he thought I was the very subject Sufjan was describing…but that’s another story). And from that crazy moment on, I knew I had found one of my favorite artists.

The lyrics are below and a video link can be found here. This piece is on the album “Seven Swans”.

Enjoy!

“That Dress Looks Nice on You” by Sufjan Stevens (Seven Swans)

I can see a lot of life in you
I can see a lot of bright in you
And I think the dress looks nice on you
I can see a lot of life in you

I can see a bed and make it too
I can see a fireside turn blue
And I can see the lot of life in you
Yes, I can see a lot of life in you

When the world looks back
when the face looks after that
I can see a lot of life in you
Yes, I can see a lot of life in you

I can see a lot of life in you
I can see your bed and make it too
And I think the dress looks nice on you
Yes, I can see a lot of life in you

I can see a lot of life in you
Yes, I can see a lot of life in you

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2 thoughts on “THAT DRESS LOOKS NICE ON YOU – Sufjan Stevens

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