Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

A Love Letter to the Long-Term | “Born For Loving You” by Big Thief


Despite the weather not feeling much like it right now, autumn is here. For me, indie-folk band Big Thief is an artist representative of the season. Lead singer Adrienne Lenker’s powerful and organic vocals blend with softer guitars to set a fitting backdrop for the falling leaves, and their most recent drop is no exception.

Born For Loving You” was released on Sept. 13, 2023, serving as a follow-up single to “Vampire Empire.” The country influences jump out on both tracks but more so on “Born For Loving You,” through the twang of both Lenker’s voice and the guitars. The song has a quicker and more traditional pop-oriented tempo than “Vampire Empire,” making for a more upbeat jam. While I am typically not a fan of country, I enjoy how it mixes with Big Thief’s traditional sound.

With the sonic brightness of “Born For Loving You” comes more positive lyrical content: something uncharacteristic of previous work from Big Thief. The narrator speaks of a relationship that started young for them and has lasted the test of time. As the title and chorus state, they were “born,” or destined, to have this connection to them. This relationship has spanned years; its longevity is illustrated in the first verse:

From my first steps to my first words /

To waddling around looking at birds

To the teenage nightmare, mine and yours

Thank God we made it through.”

In the final line of this excerpt, the speaker expresses gratitude that the connection they have with their lover has withstood life’s obstacles. Since the relationship started very young, both parties have had to grow up together, hence the mention of a “teenage nightmare.” Adolescence can be a terribly challenging time to exist as a person, let alone be in love with someone. Despite “Born For Loving You” being an overall cheerful song, its second verse does not ignore the challenges that maturing and finding direction can bring. The narrator says:

Now we’re here, but where is here?

Sometimes we both disappear /

Into that shadow box of fear.

This song is just as much a celebration of the effort put into a lasting relationship as it is an exploration of how growing up with a person intertwines your life experience with theirs. Navigating the world brings uncertainty with every turn, and a “shadow box of fear” encapsulates what that can feel like for many. The rhyming of these lines also creates a comforting rhythm that pokes through the fear present in the lyrics.

Forming a personal identity outside of a long-term partner is important, but a connection such as the one described in the song also allows both halves to learn about each other and about life. Even through the challenges, the couple comes out stronger than ever. The narrator foresees this stability continuing as it has this whole time. The speaker faced pain and discovery in the relationship but would not do anything differently, saying in verse three:

From the last breath of my first death /

To this lifetime and lifetimes left

Congratulations, no regrets.”

When the song ends, it fades out on the line “I was born for loving you.” The introspective lyricism and positive country touch on a classic indie sound makes this song of dedication perfect for entering October and beyond.

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About the Contributor
Ashley Morgan, Writer
Ashley Morgan (she/her) is a freshman at Michigan State University majoring in journalism. She joined the Impact in 2023 as a volunteer writer for the entertainment team and as a member of the music review team. Some of her favorite artists  — at least right now — are Modern Baseball, Japanese Breakfast, Big Thief and Car Seat Headrest. Outside of the Impact, she enjoys reading, learning how to play electric bass and immersing herself in tabletop role-playing games. “And the circling is worth it, finding beauty in the dissonance.” - Tool

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