Afterlife

Album: Dickenson (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • Massachusetts native Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) wrote close to 1,800 short poems of an increasingly mystical character. Only ten of Dickinson's poems were published during her lifetime.

    In 2019, Hailee Steinfeld executive produced and starred in an Apple TV+ period comedy Dickinson, which portrays the poet's fight to get her voice heard in a male-dominated society. This is the title song from the web television series.
  • The song finds Hailee Steinfeld asking her man if he will love her forever even when they're parted by death and enter the afterlife. Steinfeld drew inspiration for the lyrics from the themes and ideas in many of Dickinson's literary works, such as death and mortality. "There's a line in the song that says, 'Immortality is bliss' and it's reminiscent of a lot of Emily's poems," Hailee explained. "She lived during a time where women were forbidden from voicing their opinions and restricted in many ways, including how they dressed."
  • Steinfeld co-wrote the song with:

    The Norwegian production duo Stargate, who have contributed to numerous smash hits, including Rihanna's "Diamonds" and Katy Perry's "Firework."

    American singer/songwriter Kennedi Lykken, who has contributed to songs by Dua Lipa' ("Swan Song") and Jonas Brothers ("Hesitate").

    Canadian songwriter Stephen "Koz" Kozmeniu, whose other credits include Kendrick Lamar's Pimp The Butterfly track "The Blacker the Berry" and Mark Ronson's "Late Night Feelings."

    The track was co-produced by StarGate and KOZ.
  • Hailee Steinfeld reunited with director Hannah Lux Davis to create a video that draws from the song's lyrics while giving subtle nods to Emily Dickinson. Steinfeld and Davis previously collaborated on the clips for "Love Myself," "Most Girls" and "Capital Letters," plus Steinfeld's collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly, "At My Best."

    During the visual, Steinfeld's corset gets squeezed tighter and tighter by cords emerging from the walls around her. The singer said the scene was to show "how Emily in particular felt constricted and stifled."

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