Adrie’s Beats of the Week: ‘August’ by Taylor Swift (I’m Back Edition)

In honor of the sun being out, here is T-H-E song of summer.


This photo is mainly embarrassing, but here I am in my “August” Era, looking as cinematic as I possibly could.

by Adrie Starkenburg, Copy Editor, Writer

If you’ve been reading for a while, or just looked at my profile picture, you probably know that I am a pretty big Taylor Swift fan. I say with confidence that she is one of the most talented artists of our generation. Many Swifties of my time though, grew up loving Taylor from the start, and my love grew a little bit differently. A timeline: 

Of course I heard her music growing up, but I wasn’t really aware of who she actually was until later. I do not remember learning of her, only that she was there, and of course, it was Taylor Swift. My true timeline of fanhood started in 2018, at the small show that was the Reputation Tour Seattle concert. 

I had been invited by a friend, and while I knew pretty much nothing of the album, I very excitedly agreed to go, because why would I not? I was nervous, but I prepared myself for the night the best way that I knew how at that time: unevenly cuffed jean shorts and my favorite cold shoulder top. I don’t remember a whole lot of the actual concert which is a shame – only that I was terrified of the snakes. 

The event itself gave me so much follow up anxiety, particularly surrounding “Look What You Made Me Do,” as I could not tell what she had done, and it bothered me deeply. Looking back I should have maybe listened to the music before going. 

Following that, I, as I think we all were, was startled by the Lover Era. I didn’t know what to do with that, and I did not enjoy it. At this point I enjoyed her as an artist but I wasn’t in love. I did my fair share of watching “The Man” music video, but I wasn’t there yet. 

Things changed the following summer though. This was a summer that was very important to me in many ways, mainly that I was trapped inside my house bubble. I had come from online school, and deep down I knew I wasn’t going to go back in the fall. I hated that part, but I was carefree. I spent much of the summer taking long strolls through my neighborhood, and laying in the sun. It was also the summer that I discovered “August.” 

I decided ahead of time that I had to love this song, because it was named after the month that I was born in, and at that point that was just the kind of cinematic life I was living. Truly, I don’t think that I liked it at first listen, in fact I don’t think I liked much of the album. It found its way into my heart however, and delivered me to where I am today. 

“August” is truly my song of the summer. The way that the guitar sounds in the background makes me think of the salty smell of sea breeze, and the lyrics describe a story that is so perfectly summer. I don’t know how Taylor did it. I would get the lyrics of this song tattooed on my body. 

I won’t get too much into the lyrical meanings, because that involves a couple other songs (wink wink), and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you probably don’t want to. For me though, it was the lyric, “But I can see us lost in the memory/August slipped away into a moment in time.” I don’t think I had ever heard something so poetic, and I could feel it. I was ready for my summer fling romance to begin (it did not). 

The was, and could only have been, produced by Jack Antonoff, and the sound of it is truly perfect. I have heard some call it boring, which I find absolutely horrific, but it for sure is not loud or in your face. The track is fairly simple, but so is summer, and I find that three years after repeated listening, I am never tired of it. Once again, I have little description for this song, except for that it just feels like summer. I can almost see a heat wave in the distance. 

Clearly, I love this song, and it also stands the test of time for me. I would love to know the exact number of times that I have listened to it over the years, but I would confidently guess hundreds. If you are in the market for a simple, beautiful, somehow sunlit song to listen to, then this one’s for you. You will find me listening to it this summer, and next summer, and quite probably the summer after that.