New Year’s Day is one of my favorites off rep and it’s like nothing she’s ever written before? It doesn’t soar or ascend or climb or float or dance like some of her other love songs, but instead has these roots that strike so deep you’re pretty sure you’re reading the very foundation of her heart. It’s deeper than she’s ever gone because I genuinely don’t think she’s ever been here before.
And because the song is rooted in something so deep and so sure and so still, it’s full of a joy that’s the opposite of giddiness or fizziness. It’s full of gravity, peace, and something that, without being sad, is closer to sadness than excitement or ecstasy or words more commonly associated with joy.
You can hear it the most when she sings “I’ll be cleaning up the bottles with you on New Year’s Day” and her voice breaks a little on the last word. It’s just a little, but in that break you catch a glimpse of everything that underlies and supports every other expression of love on the album. The break is everything you need to see how deep her (their) love goes, and so you cry because in the face of that, honestly what else can you do?