I’m conflicted about this surprise new Sufjan Stevens song, “Tonya Harding,” which he just released today. On the one hand, it’s got all of the Sufjan-y stuff that I love: that gorgeous voice, melancholy strings, and a sense of sympathetic specificity that he’s so great at. On the other hand, the subject herself—an Olympic figure skater who was accused of helping to plan an attack on a rival skater in 1994—seems a strange one, and some of the couplets here sound like something a Sufjan Stevens parodist might come up with. (“Tonya Harding, my friend / This world is a bitch, girl / Don’t end up in a ditch, girl.”) It’s timed perfectly, of course, with the upcoming release of the Harding biopic I, Tonya, which is already getting pretty great reviews and inspiring thoughtful journalism. If you find the song inspiring—listen and watch above—it’s also available as a seven-inch single, with or without commemorative Tonya Harding tote bag.
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