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The Study of Swiftology

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  • So MTR was her 'letter' to him, he sent her an actual letter in response, and this is her reaction.
    This makes sense! The reason I thought it was one of her exes is this lyric makes it seem like the other person is the one who jetted, not her.

    Guilty, guilty, reaching out across the sea
    That you put between you and me
    I guess it could be interpreted as her saying that the drama of all this made her want to be in London instead so it would still be Scott who "put" the distance between them. If that's the case, I'm giving that some side eye since she's there for Joe, not really 'cause she's too sad to be in America and she was already over there a bunch when rep came out and before any of this mess started. Also, her little accent does seem very mocking and I don't understand why she'd adopt it for this song if it was about Scott.

    Anyway, I keep waiting for this song to grow on me, but it's too discordant for my liking. It's clearly that way on purpose, but it's not my thing so far. After a few more listens, I probs have some skips. I've heard Happiness enough now, I think. It's started to get a little slow and I get kinda bored when I hear it. I never loved CLM or Dorothea, but they're nice to work with in the background as like a pleasant, but not distracting noise.

    If I had the time, I'd write a long ass book report about how Champagne Problems and New Year's Day compare and contrast and act as bookends to the same story. In summary, Taylor warned you to brace yourself when it all started.

    Don't read the last page


    • When you listen to this it almost sounds like champagne problems is from her point of view and ATW is from his. Like, ATW is what is going through his mind as he's riding on the night train, sitting in this hurt. It's almost spooky how well they work together -- even down to the fact that he has a sister! (but you can also clearly hear how much more mature her vocals are now).
      If I had the time, I'd write a long ass book report about how Champagne Problems and New Year's Day compare and contrast and act as bookends to the same story. In summary, Taylor warned you to brace yourself when it all started.
      OMB to both of these interpretations. I think champagne problems might be my favorite on the album, though I do love long story short and tolerate it is pretty much the story of my ex so that one hurts. I am still warming to a lot of evermore though, and I don't think happiness and cowboy like me will ever work out for me. I also much prefer Justin in exile to evermore.

      She's unkillable like a kockroach.
      Do you think she's deleting her own tumblrs to play victim and get out of having to face the Karlie baby? It feels like tumblr wouldn't really be this efficient about shutting her down.


      • Guilty, guilty, reaching out across the sea
        That you put between you and me
        I took this as metaphorical. He created the gulf. She's across the sea. She went with sea because it's a better visual.
        Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


        • I don't think happiness and cowboy like me will ever work out for me
          Same for CLM and replace Happiness with Dorothea. They're pretty, but just not my angst jam. I feel this way about TIMT and Seven too. I skip those pretty much all the time now. And Exile > Evermore seems to be the universal opinion although most everyone likes both. I do like that people were surprised to hear hiiiiiigh note Justin when they were expecting more Exile low notes.

          They're gonna play this album for Disney too, right? I NEED TO SEE IT. And Taylor seems like she has enough of a completionist (is this a word?) nature to want that.

          I forgot to say yesterday that the people who are upset about her doing more fiction in her songs, why? Have they not listened to these 2 albums? Some of her best songs were about made up people and she shouldn't have to keep dredging up her own pain to make great music anyway. Normalize wanting the best for your fav pop star's mental health.
          Last edited by IssieCol; 12-15-2020, 06:42 PM.


          • i didn’t favor this is me trying until she explained it to me. It wasn’t that complicated to understand, but for whatever reason, her explaining it made it work in my head.

            I sincerely hope they recorded evermore for D+. I can’t imagine her not wanting to do it.


            • Normalize wanting the best for your fav pop star's mental health.

              I want Taylor to do whatevs she needs to do. And she's already shown us the level of songcrafting that can come from this new feeling of freedom, so . . . how could anyone be irked by that? And she's been all glowy and happy through this process, so it's a win/win from where I sit.

              Ah, brands always jumping in to show how relatable they are.

              Olive Garden in particular must be LOVING THIS.

              So! We got two fantabulous interview yesterday, so I'm scrounging up transcripts and thoughts and will post them here in a bit in a separate post. Just going to offload some random things first.

              We also got two new remixes of willow:

              I didn't really love the Elvira dance remix of Willow but I love love the lonely witch remix:

              and the moonlit witches one is pretty good as well:

              It sounds like she did new vocals for them?

              Now that Taylor knows how to set up vocal recording booths in her homes, she's going to be an absolute menace. (although she probably did them at Marcus Mumford's place).

              And an article on the making of the willow video:


              How did the “Willow” shoot differ from “Cardigan”? It looks like you guys were able to have other actors on set this time around, but how did that change the safety measures you had to follow?

              It was still very, very strict. A big part of it was the whole testing protocols, which we also did last time. But when we were doing this video, we knew more [about the virus], and the safety guidelines were more specific. We followed the same ones the DGA has done, that my union Local 600 has done, SAG — they’ve all put in place these protocols that we did follow, and were very careful about it.

              For instance, in the scene with the choreography around the tree and the clearing, you know, with a sort of dance around these magical orbs, there was a limit on how many actors and dancers we could have there. That was created by visual effects, actually — they added in more dancers. I think the actual number was 10 dancers when we were filming, and they all have masks on, actually. We can’t see their faces, and that’s partly because they have masks.

              There’s only really one moment, in the cabin, where she’s in close contact with [another actor], with the man that she’s been missing at all these different moments. But, of course, both were tested, and they’d only take off their masks in the moment where we’re actually shooting. Everyone else would always wear masks on. And similar to last time, anybody who was in the immediate vicinity of the scene had to have a red wristband — it was all color-coded, in terms of who could be close to the scene and the actors. And certainly, it was very important to have not only a mask, but a face shield whenever we were anywhere close to Taylor or any of the other actors or dancers.

              I still used the remote camera on a crane, so there wasn’t even a camera operator close to anybody. We were still following all the guidelines very closely, but now, it felt more relaxed in the sense that we have more information. We could just follow all these protocols. And we knew that we’d be safe because it was all pretty strict.

              I had wondered about the number of dancers, because it did seem like a lot!

              But there was one moment that was unforgettable. And she actually has mentioned it, which was, just as we were starting to film on November 7th, we got the news of the election result. We were both looking at the monitor at the DIT station, and she got a text alert or something like that. Obviously, at that moment, we were all working on the video, but in the back of our minds we’re all like, OK, what’s gonna happen? And she was the only one who could actually look at her phone, because in fact, everybody had to relinquish their phones in the beginning so that nobody would take photos of anything, except for a few people like myself, who could sometimes use our phone to take a photograph as reference. And I was only using it very, very sporadically for that sort of thing.

              q: So Taylor ended up being the messenger for the election results on set?

              Exactly. So, she’s next to me — six feet away, but she was next to me. And she got this text, and she showed it to me. So I learned of the result from her at that moment, and what I told her was, “I will never forget this moment,” both because it’s such a historically important moment and because she was the one who showed me this information, you know. That was pretty special. Yeah. I felt like celebrating and doing a little dance, but I didn’t — we’re professionals and we’re working and also, I wanted to be respectful of anybody who had voted differently. But it was a very incredible moment, and just the beginning of a three-day shoot that turned out to be an adventure.

              I would like for Taylor Swift to be the one to share all election results with me personally from now on.

              As well as being my personal election news announcer, she should also consider doing this once we are in the aftertimes and peple can do stuff like this again:

              You know, that song has ruined the name marjorie for me. I will now tear up more hearing/seeing that name than I do for either of my own grandmas. Curse you, Taylor.

              Song sorter! for those that like to sort it all out.



              I'm not a hug fan of declaring favorites, and I've decided to more or less view folklore/evermore as one big ass album so I don't have to pick between them either, but this below is an accurate picture of the inside of my head right now.

              1 cowboy like me
              2 champagne problems
              3 'tis the damn season
              4 evermore (feat. Bon Iver)
              5 willow
              6 long story short
              7 gold rush
              8 no body, no crime (feat. Haim)
              9 marjorie
              10 coney island (feat. The National)
              11 tolerate it
              12 ivy
              13 dorothea
              14 happiness
              15 closure

              I'm not the only one choosing to treat the two albums as one, several Best Of lists have done the same.


              Chris Willman

              1. Taylor Swift — Folklore/Evermore

              Either of Taylor Swift’s two 2020 releases could be a list-topper in itself. Considered in tandem — entwined, like the braid that graces the cover of “Evermore” — they add up to one of the most accomplished and filler-free double-albums, official or otherwise, in all of pop folklore. When the first album was announced with less than a day’s notice in July, as something that had been instigated and finished in what amounted to four months of lockdown at that point, it would’ve been easy to look at the forested cover images and rustic fonts and imagine that Swift had either made a very slapdash attempt at indie-folk or was just going to have a serious disconnect between her ruminative new self-image and the actual content of the music (a la Justin Timberlake’s “Man of the Woods,” a trip into the trees that ended less well). But with the assistance of new collaborator Aaron Dessner and old one Jack Antonoff, she was up to something more original than anything we imagined in those few pregnant pre-release hours of wondering whether cabin fever had gotten to her. Tree bark didn’t really have a lot to do with it: she was biting into a kind of chamber-pop that pitted the sometimes very formal, largely acoustic, not-so-percussive track beds that she wrote to against the kinds of dramatic emotions and storytelling she’d always done, and magnificently splitting any difference. It was if she’d commissioned arrangements from her primary co-producers that ordered her: You need to calm down. She did, and a globe caught up in a similarly reflective mode stepped up to embrace it. “Evermore,” released five months later, felt like it had even fewer “pop” concessions than its predecessor — yet an electronically styled remix of “Willow” made it clear that this is really the kind of writing Swift has been doing all along, under our noses, as some turned theirs up at her shinier versions of the same. The high level of lyrical cleverness and phrasing in the best ballads put her in a class with the great writers of our time, like Aimee Mann. But you have to think back to the Beatles to think of a time when someone was turning out Event Albums in such fast succession and not setting anyone up for a letdown.

              Pitchfork's review of evermore is pretty good, even though they gave it a 7.9:


              Now 31, Swift is enjoying a phase characterized by great unburdenings. She described her 2019 album Lover like a deep breath, and she has spent the 16 months since its release in a kind of elongated exhale. Early this year, she attempted to unload a career’s worth of self-analysis and confessions in a documentary titled Miss Americana. In one scene, filmed just ahead of her 29th birthday, she experienced a minor panic attack while eating a burrito in the studio: “I kind of don’t really have the luxury of figuring stuff out,” she said, “because my life is planned two years ahead of time.” Any day now, she predicted, her proposed tour dates would start rolling in and her future would, once again, harden into a string of obligations.

              Of course, most people’s plans were canceled in 2020, and Swift is instead making the quietest, most elegant music of her career with an unexpected collaborator, the National’s Aaron Dessner. In contrast with the producers who helped amplify and smooth her songwriting for the masses, Dessner invited Swift to ramble and elaborate, to tell stories from beginning to end, to invent fictional characters with interconnected storylines. He is the friend who offers a comfortable place to spiral, leaning in and refilling their wine glasses. In other words, he would probably be really stoked about the 10-minute version of “All Too Well” with the extra verses and cursing.

              . . .

              While folklore seemed to materialize from nowhere as a complete, cohesive vision, evermore is structurally akin to something like 2012’s Red, where the breadth of her songwriting is as important as the depth. Within its 15-song, hour-long tracklist, you will find the closest things to country music she has written in years (the gorgeous “cowboy like me,” the Haim-assisted true-crime anthem “no body, no crime”) and colorful pop music she largely avoided in her last batch of recordings (“long story short,” “gold rush”). Elsewhere, there’s a ballad in a 5/4 time and another that bursts suddenly into a Bon Iver song halfway through before gently floating down to earth. “I haven’t met the new me yet,” Swift sings at one point. While that may be true, she has found plenty of new ideas for the old one.

              . . .

              If the periods of hibernation between Swift’s records once felt crucial to the drama of her returns, her music now is filled with these momentary silences and breakthroughs. After a career spent striving for the next level of stardom, she has discovered a more sustainable path for evolution. I think about the caustic 2017 music video for “Look What You Made Me Do,” where she depicted herself as a zombie, lining up all her past selves to taunt each other; she seemed spent, haunted, sick of competing with herself. And I think of 2006’s “Our Song,” one of her first great songs, which took comfort in the idea that no music can capture the chaos of a lifetime, its moments of hope and loss, the familiar routines and sudden jolts. On evermore, she seems at peace with her past, in a suspended moment of transition, letting us follow along as she learns: Don’t just get settled, she tells us through this bounty of material. Get stronger.

              This bit is interesting!

              Another stunner is “ivy,” a knotty fairytale that reveals darker characters in the storybook setting of Swift’s early work. Backed by banjo, trumpet, and gentle harmonies from Vernon, she begins with an allusion to Miller Williams’ 1997 poem “Compassion.” “I’ll meet you where the spirit meets the bone,” she sings before describing a forest dreamland corrupted by someone else’s roots. The Arkansas poet she quotes happens to be the father of outlaw country legend Lucinda Williams, who used the same line as the title of the first album she released on her own label, 2014’s Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone. (“We can do what we want to do now,” Williams said at the time, after decades of mistreatment from the music industry. “Plus we own the masters, everything we record.”)

              Swifties were holding their breath for Pitchfork, because they haven;'t always been very generous to her stuff. (and have not even bothered to review her albums until they were hassled into going back and doing them retroactively.)

              And for music nerds, Pitchfork has the full credits for evermore here:


              Notable things were how bits were recorded so many different places. You might have drums and bass at Long Pond, flute in Connecticut, piano in Biarritz, France, synthesizers in LA, violin in Buffalo, trombone in Paris, trumpet in Wisconsin, etc. To be able to organize all of that in such a short amount of time and yet to still be able to keep it an absolute secret is some serious Mona Vanderwaal energy.

              Looks like she did vocals in more than one place, too. She did most of the vocals for the album all at Long Pond with Aaron, but she did dorothea at home in LA, and happiness, some of cblm, and coney island at Marcus Mumford's studio in the UK. And Joe played his piano part of evermore at Marcus's studio, too. So she and Joe probably stayed with Carey and Marcus in Essex for at least a couple of days. (and in the Zane Lowe interview she says she did vocals for happiness and You Belong With Me on the same day, so she's apparently using Marcus' studio for some of the masters re-records.)

              Plus she directed and filmed the Disney special and an entire new music video, did a photo shoot, merchandising and packaging design, AND also managed to do some re-recordings of her old masters all in the same couple of months.

              No wonder she's exhausted!

              And one last thing on closure . . . read a theory on tumblr that the jangly discordant sounds are that of a 'biog machine' breaking down which is now my head canon and I am going with that. No 'closure' for you, Scott Baloney!

              Meanwhile, in kaykweenland . . .

              Do you think she's deleting her own tumblrs to play victim and get out of having to face the Karlie baby? It feels like tumblr wouldn't really be this efficient about shutting her down.

              No, I honestly think tumblr is doing it. I think they were contacted by someone with legal heft and now they are being as conscientious as possible about keeping her off. Other tumblr peeps are reporting her to tumblr every time she pops back up and! she keeps tagging Penni Throw (Karlie's manager) in her posts, which is like . . . real dumb.

              The konsensus from long time tumblr peeps is that she is not doing it herself. Some insight into how it's working behind the scenes:

              Anonymous asked:

              TTB keeps getting deleted because she is now on the "banned user" list. Tumblr (and all other user community companies) track IP addresses, computer MAC addresses, and other identifying personal stamps you can't hide from. They use BOTS to keep deleting. Unless she gets a new computer AND starts using a VPN, they will catch her and suspend her every time. Plus, she is completely open about who she is when she starts again. Unless she pretends to be someone else - she's gone every single time.

              (h/t karliesbuzzcut)

              Anonymous asked:

              Um, so. I was behind ttb5, ttb6, ttb11, ttb12, ttb 10, taytaysfacialhair and more - my account with all the usernames, including my main blog, got terminated for “copyright”. I obviously complained. Tumblr is notorious for not responding to complaints and appeals like that, I told them I took the usernames so that a person who’s notoriously participated in antisemitic discourse and harassment of teen lgbt people. Boom, in 30 minutes, my main blog was restored, I got told not to impersonate. So.

              and this other person:


              my blog was deleted sometime around 11:30 this morning while i was asleep. (i work 3rd shift)

              i sent an appeal saying "hey, i havent posted anything copyrighted, and even if i did isnt there usually like a 3 strikes policy, not just immediate deletion?"

              i waited, waited, waited. about 4 hours go by. nothing. then, i stumble upon this post. so i send another appeal, explicitly stating i am not ttb and that i only took the name so she wouldnt have a platform for her bullshit.

              20 minutes later my blog was restored with what constitutes a slap on the wrist.

              so, what does this mean?

              1) no matter how funny it is, do NOT make a blog trying to take a username away from her. they will 360 no scope ur ass with no warning.


              2) given that my blog was restored almost immediately after i explicitly said i was not ttb, i can only conclude that someone at tumblr staff really, really, really hates ttb and is invested in striking her down at every turn.

              I think the only blog with ttbs name in it that has stayed up throughout is debunkingtaytaysbeard, which says something right there.

              Literally not a surprise that the wheat sheaf 'source' was a troll:


              I think we've now seen at least four people come forward and say they were the kween's 'sources' but they were only trolling her. Nobody has stepped forward and klaimed spade yet. Or the white umbrellaz! White Umbrellaz was such a great troll, I want to shake that person's hand.

              Her latest inkarnation only lasted like a day or so, I think? but before the kween got deleted (AGAIN) we got these gems:

              I think you mean 'kontinuous'.

              No, she would NOT.

              Um . . .

              (looks like Ivanka is getting her wish! happy neighbors, happy families!)

              Anywhoo, tumblr and the kween will unite to TAKE DOWN the blogs who have trespassed against her:

              Another young lesbian ex-kay explains why the kween's blog was so harmful to her:

              when ttb came to prominence in the fandom (because, yes, we existed before her and were doing just fine) i was 13/14. i was young and naive and trusting of anyone who seemed like they knew what they were talking about. so, like many people in the fandom, totally looked up to her. i swallowed her rhetoric for years as it slowly devolved and became more and more hateful. as a queer person, her reduction of being closeted to “lying” and her anger at karlie or taylor whenever they publicly acknowledged their bfs really affected me. it was so easy to turn that anger (homophobia) inwards, and i am genuinely still trying to undo those mental pathways today. obviously ttb isn’t the cause of my internalized homophobia, but she certainly did not help.

              you say that the people who read her blog are big boys and girls who can decide for themselves what they want to believe? well, i wasn’t, and there are so many young people who have reached out to me privately who have had similar experiences. this fandom, and every online community, isn’t an abstract thing, it’s an actual “space,” if you will, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that it’s a safe and welcoming place. if you side with ttb–or think people who criticize her are being dramatic and annoying–you’re siding with a racist, homophobic, biphobic, antisemitic, and ableist woman who has come into a queer space and claimed it as her own (the lgbtq flavor of my blog thing was fucking hilarious, but the fact that she had the nerve to claim that title disgusts me). there is no way to twist this situation to make supporting her okay. as a lesbian of color, and an ally, her actions hurt me. i’m never going to stop fighting for justice in my life, and if that includes this wonderful online community i’m a part of.

              So yeah, tumblr and fandom as a whole will be a healthier ecology if the kween stays down this time.

              I'll be back with the Jimmy Kimmel and the Zane Lowe interview this afternoon, I think? Lots to unpack!

              A preview of Zane Lowe:

              I mean . . .


              • Wow, she could almost have taken top 1 and 2:

                evermore's physical cds and vinyls haven't shipped yet, so her evermore numbers will go up a lot once they do.

                So! Taylor went on Kimmel:


                This was so cute. She looks very happy.

                She's wearing her opal ring and her infinity bracelet again:

                Her birthday:

                Until I turn 113 or 131, this will be the highlight of my life. The numerology thing really does–when it doesn't take over on its own, I force it to happen. Like with folklore and evermore there are 16 tracks on folklore, there are 15 tracks on evermore. Add them up, what do you get? 31! Which in my mind is just the opposite, just 13 backwards. That's all that 31 is to me.

                He asked her about the fan theories about a third album named woodvale:

                Okay, well this takes a bit of explanation. I tend to be sort of annoyingly secret agent-y about dropping clues and hints and Easter eggs and it's very annoying but it's fun for fans and it's fun for me because they like to pick up on things, and they'll notice things in videos and photos. And then sometimes I take it too far and I make a mistake. And basically when I was making folklore the album that came out back in July, I was too scared to unveil the title to even my closest teammates in management; I didn't tell anyone until it came out. So I came up with a fake code name with the same amount of letters as folklore and chose a random name - I chose woodvale - because I wanted to see how it would look on album covers. We mocked them up and then I decided I didn't actually want to have a title on the album covers, and we forgot to take the fake codename off one of them. evermore had a code name - it was November - but we remembered to take it of all the mock ups this time, so we learned our lesson.
                (all transcripts by cages-boxes-hunters-foxes, obvs)

                Ha! I guess she had to go with 'a random name' instead of 'the street where my boyfriend's parents actually live' when explaining the folklore codeword.

                She thoroughly quashed the third album truthers:


                (yeah no, there's no 3rd album coming.)

                About The National:

                It was amazing because we wrote this song called Coney Island. And I had kind of written the second verse as if I was Matt Berninger, the lead singer of The National, because Matt has a very signature lyricism, and I was hoping if I wrote lyrics enough like what he'd sing, he might say yes. We had the whole band play, Matt said yes, it was a duet I'm really proud of. Aaron is an amazing collaborator: He's so talented, he's so prolific, but he's also such a wonderful, kind, generous, creative person. Lots of people want to collaborate with him, so I sort of grifted off that.

                She got very smiley/blushy when Jimmy asked her why 'Wiliam Bowery' and he mentioned that fans think it's connected to the Bowery Hotel:

                Jimmy: And your boyfriend wrote some of the lyrics to some of the song under a pseudonym, William Bowery, Why- who chose that name? Did you chose that or did he?"

                Taylor, looking to the side, turning red: "He did."

                Jimmy: Is there a meaning to that, was it from the Bowery Hotel like I know people have speculated?

                Taylor: You gotta ask him because it's really more his story than mine. Yeah, he does a lot of -

                Jimmy: Well, turn the camera around. let's see where he is- (both laugh)


                jimmy 10000% hit something when he asked taylor about the bowery hotel bc her face got ten shades darker tell us your secrets mom


                long pond:

                I think that we had a great opportunity with Disney+ to create sort of, a way to not only explain how we made these albums–well at that point, it was just one–but it was the same group that made the second album, so it was a good place to see the process. We could explain it, because it was made under such weird circumstances and we could also meet as a group. We'd never been in the same room before–Aaron, Jack, and I had never all gotten to be together–so it was great. We quarantined for awhile and got tested, and then got tested again, and had all the precautions taken, and it was really nice to get to share that after making that album.

                I don't know that we should be so confident about a long pond: the evermore sessions coming, tbh. Not any time soon! Maybe we'll get a concert film whenever that's possible again, again though.

                They also talked about Paul McCartney, and other stuff.

                Speaking of! this is very sweet:

                “I did the Rolling Stone cover with Taylor Swift and she just emailed me recently and she said, ‘I wasn’t telling anyone, but I’ve got another album,’ what’s it called… Evermore? ‘So I was going to put it out on my birthday’ - which I think was the 10th. And then she said, ‘but I found out that you were going to put it out on the 10th so I moved to the 18th.’ And then she found out we were coming out on the 18th, so she moved back to the 10th. So, you know, people do keep out of each other’s way. It’s a nice thing to do.”

                — Paul McCartney revealed on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show
                There are not many artists that Taylor would ruin the chance to use a 13 for.

                Taylor also did an hour (!) long interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music which was UHMAZING:


                This was a seriously great interview. So much in there! Here are some of the transcripts (h/t cages-boxes-hunters-foxes):

                (I don't think these are exactly in order and! it's definitely not everything they talked about, but it's most things. It doesn't include the stuff Zane asks her, though, and there's a lot of good things there as well, because he's super insightful.)

                I liked opening the album with [willow] because I loved the feeling I got immediately upon hearing instrumental Aaron created for it. It felt strangely, I say witchy and I stand by that. It felt like somebody standing over a potion, making a love potion, dreaming up the person they want, and the person they desire, and trying to figure out how to get that person in their life. And all the misdirection, the bait and switch, the complexity in seeing someone and in feeling that connection and in wanting and trying to make them a part of their life. It's tactical at times, it's confusing at times, it's up to fate, it's magical. […] It felt a bit magical and mysterious, which is what I wanted people to feel going into this album that was a collection of these stories that would take them in all kinds of directions. To start them with a setting of the vibe. But what you say about closure is really profound. With folklore, one of the main themes of that was conflict resolution, like trying to figure out getting through something with someone and trying to tell them something, and making confessions, and communication. evermore deals a lot in endings in all sorts, and shapes, and sizes, and in all the kinds of ways we can end a relationship or a friendship or something toxic and the pain that goes along with that the phases, and so it's cool you noticed that.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on willow and the differences between evermore and folklore

                . . .

                Absolutely, because when you watch a film or you read a book and there's a character you identify with, you most of the time identify with them because they're targeting something in you that feels that you’ve been there. That’s why we relate to characters. So when I was reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, I was thinking, 'Wow, her husband just tolerates her. She's doing all these things, she's trying so hard, she's trying to impress him, and he's just tolerating her.' Part of me is relating to that because at some point in my life, I felt that way, so I ended up writing this song tolerate it, which is about trying to love someone who's ambivalent.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on tolerate it and how you connect with characters
                We see you, Calligrapher Harvard!

                tolerate it also being inspired by Rebecca is very interesting. Also, a lot of people draw gender flipped parallels from ivy to Jane Eyre, which she mentioned in another interview that they watched during quar.

                I think looking back in my career, there have been so many different musical phases and different things I wanted to wear at different times and they fit my life at the time. And so I think you’ve got to allow yourself that grace, to put on a certain lifestyle or certain outfit or certain creative mantra and then discard it when you outgrow it. This was weird because evermore was the first time I didn’t discard everything after I made something new. It was weird. I had to fight off anxiety I had in my head, like fear, that was like, 'You need to change.' Like the demons are here, you need to change, you can't stay in the forest! I was like, 'I wanna stay in the forest!'

                . . .

                It has changed everything about the way that I do what I do. It gave me a perspective of, I was pretty upset when all my shows got canceled and I realized I wasn't going to be able to connect with fans in the way I'm traditionally used to–just a normal human interaction. And I think we all felt that way where we were just, 'Wow, that would've been, I think [Lover Fest] would've been fun.' But what it did was that when you plan a live show, or at least when I do, I'm writing interstitial music, I'm planning how this setpiece goes off while we distract them over here, and this calls for this and this calls for that and that's all creating. And I don't think I assigned much merit to that. When you're taking music, and an album you've already made, and you're choreographing it, and you're setting up a live spectacle, that is taking up so much emotional, creative, and imagination-based bandwidth in your brain. And if you take all of that away, what happens? I guess I learned that it's very possible for me to write more music with that creative bandwidth. As musicians, we're so used to immediately touring, putting together a show, going into rehearsals, and then we feel like we need a pretty big big break, a significant gap of time where we get to rest afterwards. And I guess I learned that when we're on the road, it's not just that we're sweating, and we're meeting a million people, and we have all this back and forth of energy, of meeting this person, of trying to get a surprise guest to surprise the crowd. And all this stuff that happens on tour, it's also the creation of show itself that is taking up a lot of your brain space. So without that, this just happened naturally on its own.

                . . .

                “Pure is a really, really perfect word for this. Because what happens to you as your career builds and builds is that if you’ve accomplished a thing in the past, all of a sudden you’re expected to accomplish that thing, plus another new thing, plus this other thing over here. At times when I felt a lot of pressure, I felt like I was doing some obstacle course. And that’s not how you should feel when you’re creating. I felt like I needed to make a tracklist where this one’s for the stadium show. This one’s for radio. This one’s for people who want to get in their feelings. Check, check, check. And you can end up doing that! And it’s good to have friends who are also artists who have similar pressure. Ed Sheeran and I talk about this a great deal. We both stepped back. I would say to him, ‘This is the first time I’ve felt like I threw the checklist away.’ I threw it away and I could’ve gone into the pandemic thinking, ‘I’ve got to wait for everything to open so I can do things how I’m used to doing them.’ But three days in, I was like, ‘This could be an opportunity to do things in a way I haven’t done before.’ What would my work sound like if I took away all of my fear-based checklisting that I’ve inflicted on myself? So I guess I know the answer now.”

                . . . .

                Yeah, never more so than with the process of these two albums. This is one of those things where I kind of had to just throw out any playbook I had. You just, in times like these when everything is uncertain and everything changes in your world, I just took it as an opportunity to embrace the fact that even if you think you have control in normal times, that’s an illusion. If you're making stuff, put it out. If people need music, and you've made music, put it out. For a time at the beginning of the process, I was like, 'I will wait until January. I will wait until things are more normal. Then I will put out folklore.' But that's my old brain thinking there's any way I can control this! Humans do need to have some sort of strategy when they go into putting out music or doing any business whatsoever. But as much as that has an ability to fall by the wayside, it did with this. There was no way to make it and feel in control. You’ve got to just let fate do what its gonna do with something like this. And I do talk to Aaron and Jack about this a lot. This was a whirlwind. We don’t understand it, our logical brains don’t comprehend it. You guys make albums, you put it out all the time, whatever, but this feels different to us. It feels like something that'll affect the rest of our lives, and the way we make art. And not being too precious! We weren’t precious about this, we weren't too picky, or everything has to be perfect. No, nothing's going to be perfect right now, and how does that feel? I'm so happy that people welcomed it into its life the way they did.


                (Loyalty is) probably the most important character trait (to me). I think that’s its probably not my place to [tell a friend to leave a bad relationship] unless they come confide, or say 'I need to vent, I need to talk.' You have to kind of give people the space to learn lessons in their own time. I've learned that the messenger often gets shot, and if you talk a bunch of shit about your friend’s boyfriend, they're definitely going to get back together, and then you're the one who, they form a united front and you're the one on the outside of it. So I try hard to just be patient, and listen to friends, and if they want to talk shit, we talk shit. But you have to know people will make decisions based on their heart and on their feelings and if that doesn’t match up with way you see situations objectively, you have to take it as a case by case and just try to be a good friend because we're all human and we're all learning lessons in the weirdest time facing humankind 2020.

                Zane is the one who asked her about loyalty and also if she'd had a specific situation a friend was in a bad relationship. He was probably thinking about Selena and Justin, and I certainly was when I read what she said.

                I think that working with Aaron, the music we were making - he was writing instrumentals, I was writing melodies and lyrics - and what ended up happening was we just gravitated toward what both of us simultaneously felt made us feel cozy, which was nature. So many people during pandemic were going on hikes and trying to get outside because nature symbolized this strange comfort all of a sudden where all of a sudden everything was completely off-kilter and no one could get their bearings, so we all went outside or tried to go camping, or tried to go hiking, or go on drives. And I think Aaron's music and my music both reflected that feel. With Aaron, he's such an amazing instrumentalist and his instrumentals he was writing were all very kind of dreamscapes. And it's not that this album is all about the forest and woods and stuff. It's got hints of that and there's a lot of kind of the lyric - one thing I wanted to do with folklore was I wanted it to represent spring and summer, and when I made evermore, I knew I wanted to fill in the rest of the seasons and have it reflect fall and winter. So that's another element that nature came into it. But also it was the easiest way to do a photoshoot. I haven't had a haircut by anyone except myself since lockdown started, and that's how it's been. How can I make art, and make visuals that go with this art, where I can't ask my hair and makeup people and my stylist to quarantine for two weeks away from their families? I'm not going to ask them to do that, and fly, and expose themselves to the virus. So can I possibly make a cover on my own? Could I just sort of DIY this? So I asked my friends if I could use their field and their woods and I used a photographer who works alone - she doesn't have assistants for shoots, so we'd be carrying bags of film in fields and I'd be touching up my lipstick and I'd run out and she'd take pictures. It was really fun honestly.

                . . ..

                'Meet me behind the mall' was about six months old, probably. […] I really love a turn of a phrase or a play on words or common phrases and you twist something. Another I'd had for a very long time, like a couple of years, was 'the knife cuts both ways/if the shoe fits, walk in it, til your high heels break.' So if I think of something, but I don't have a song. I write it down, I keep a file. I also have a folder of favorite words. Favorite phrases, favorite words, favorite lines that I think could fit somewhere.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on cataloguing ideas

                . . .

                The experience writing that song was really surreal because you know, I was kind of a wreck at times writing it and I'd sort of break down sometimes. It was really hard to actually even sing it in the vocal booth without sounding like I had a break because it was really emotional. I think one of the hardest forms of regret to work through is the regret of being so young when you lost someone that you didn’t have the perspective to learn and appreciate who they were fully. You didn’t have that sort of, I'd open up my grandma's closet and she had beautiful dresses from the 60s and I wish I'd asked her where she wore every one of them. My mom will look at me several times a year and say, 'God you're just like her,' when I do some mannerism that I don’t recognize as being anything other than mine. […] She died when I was 13 and she died almost when I was on a trip to Nashville to try and make it to try to hand out my demo CD to labels and things like that. So pretty insane coincidences like that. I've always felt that thing, I've always felt like she was seeing this, you know, because we have to sort of do that. But one of the things about this song that sort of still rips me apart when I listen to it is that she's singing with me on this song. My mom found a bunch of her old records, a bunch of vinyls of her singing opera and I sent them to Aaron and he added them. So it says, 'If I didn’t know better, I'd think you were singing with me now.' And you hear Marjorie actually sing, my grandmother. Moments like that that make you feel like your whole heart is in this thing you're doing. It's all of you you put into this thing.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on marjorie

                . . .

                That is one of our daydreams that we talk about often, but it isn’t a plan. The convos happen between me, Aaron, and Jack. And doing Long Pond, it just made us want to play music like that more. It just made us want to start a band together, and Justin I know talks to Aaron about it a lot too, about like, 'We've got to play this together. We've got to play this together. I was just talking to Marcus Mumford about it too–he sang backup on cowboy like me. He was like, 'we have got to have a band.' Everyone involved! The HAIM girls are like my best friends. We always end up at parties, onstage together, and someone says 'Go play something.' We've played live together so many times, we've been on tour, but this is the first time Este, Alana, and Danielle and I have collaborated on a song. These are all people I love, and that’s why the daydream feels feasible because I would play with these people forever.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on plans to play folklore and evermore live

                I have absolutely no idea what the next decade holds and I think that’s kind of something I’m going to keep that like it is. I was always such a planner and such a list-maker, with lists of dreams and goals and things I wanted to do. I think my new list will be places I want to see in the world, and adventures I want to have, and experiences I want to have, and things I want to learn. I think that'll be what the list looks like, because there will always be a list. It's me. In quarantine, my list was that I decided to try to cook everything I loved to eat but never been able to cook. So there’s always a list.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on the next ten years of her career

                I don't know where they would begin touring this plus Lover, it almost feels like it would have to be it's own 3 day festival. (which is an idea!) but more importantly, what the heck would it look like for them to form a band?! So many possibilities open up. She could continue to be Taylor Popstar Swiftand put out pop albums and do the big stadium tour on her old two year schedule . . . but what if she JUST DIDN'T. What if she said fuck it all and became the lead vocalist/lyricist for a band of her musical genius pals and that was all she did. I mean, most likely that ain't happening because she has a whole empire to support that depends on Big Stadium Tours to survive (including her actual touring band and all of those backup dancers!) but there would be nothing stopping her from doing both if she wanted to. And yet! what she said there about not having a plan was very intriguing. Maybe this is the beginning of a real era of looseness and freedom and even more hiding away from the public and much less touring and stadium pop in general. Maybe she's thinking about dismantling that empire, who knows.

                When we (Taylor and the Haim sisters) were at the SNL 40th anniversary party they had a band up there onstage and Jimmy Fallon had the mic and he was like, 'Somebody's gotta get up and play!' He saw us and pointed at us and it was established that Shake It Off is like three chords over and over and I was like, "A minor! C! G!' and so we played them. We also had a party once where we were the house band and if someone wanted to sing karaoke, we'd just chart out the song really quickly and it was just a karaoke machine. […] It wasn’t bad in that we didn’t know the song, but we did a disco version of Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid that I think would be filed as one of the least expected ones from the evening.

                . . . wondering if the party she is mentioning here was this one:

                (NYE 2018)

                Wow, there's a lot to unpack [in talking about rerecording], but [the notion of reflection and growth] does resonate with me a lot. I was allowed to start rerecording in November. By then, we had a great deal of evermore done, I had shot a music video for willow, but was still writing and recording so there'd be days where I was recording You Belong With Me and then I'd be recording a song like happiness, which is on evermore. It made me feel really proud of the scope of things, and looking back when I was a teenager, and I would write about my troubles in high school, and the drama, and the pining away and all that. That was all so valid to me at that time in my life just as much as evermore is so valid to my happiness at this time in my life. So it's been really, I've felt really grateful lately for people giving me the ability to grow up creatively. I know there have been snags, and a time when people were like, 'I don’t like her'–several times. But for the most part I feel a great amount of gratitude that I was able to make music from when I was a teen until the time I was 31.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on reflecting on herself while she rerecords the old music

                . . .

                It does make me feel really close to those songs again. And it also reminds me that I want to keep a lot of cool surprises for the fans until I'm ready to show them fully to everyone. But the reason that I feel so passionately that artists should own their catalogs is because if you are the creator of all of this music, you're the only one who knows the ins and outs. You're the only one who knows what almost was written, you're the only one who knows the secrets of the journey of making that music, you're the only one who has the ability to share it with fans in the way that you can make everyone the happiest and most excited. It's been really fulfilling in that way. I had no idea what to expect, and you don't want it to feel like your homework got destroyed and you have to redo it. But it isn’t like that at all. It's extremely fulfilling.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on rerecording her old work

                . . .

                We don’t make that conscious decision because we aren’t given the information oftentimes. I'm having lots of conversations behind-the-scenes with record labels, and trying to help them understand this from a psychological perspective–what you do to an artist when you separate them from their work. You break something, and I'm trying to figure out how to put back together in a way that heals what's broken in a system that isn't designed for artists to have a chance at–that's an artist's pension plan, their retirement, their legacy, what they want to leave to their children. [...] I was 15, 14 when I was in record deal talks, negotiations. You can't really go back and say, what a conscious choice that was made. You don’t know the music industry until you know it and because I have learned what I have learned, I want to make better for other people. And I want it to start at the deal in the contract. Artists should never have to part with the work they should own from day one. They should license it back to the label, the label makes back the money over a certain time, and that amount of time should be what is negotiated on. It should not be a question going forward. If I can do that to change things for a young artist in the future, or many, or all of them, I'm gonna keep being loud about that.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on owning work and why artists put security over creative control

                THIS! I don't know how in the hell she's finding time to also have these backroom discussions with record labels about how they need to completely restructure the music industry but it's AWESOME. Obvs at this point in her career, she can walk into any label's boardroom all like . . .

                But it's so hard to imagine finding the necessary leverage to cut off such a profitable longterm revenue stream. They know it's predatory! They just don't care. Good for her for trying, though.

                But also! COOL SURPRISES.

                Here, we go . . . more on William B., sad emo panda boy:

                Zane: That song (champagne problems) is one of the most heartbreaking tales of unrequited love I’ve heard in my entire life, and it shouldn’t be written by somebody who is honestly and obviously very much in love, so I don’t know how you got there.

                Taylor: Well, Joe and I really love sad songs. We've always bonded over music. We write the saddest songs; we just love sad songs, what I can I say. He started that one (champagne problems), and came up with the melodic structure of it. I say it was a surprise that we started writing together, but in a way it wasn’t, because we've always bonded over music and we have the same musical tastes and he's always showing me songs by artists that then become my favorite songs or whatever. But Champagne Problems was one of my favorite bridges to write. I love a bridge where you tell the full story in the bridge, you shift gears in that bridge. I'm so excited to one day be in front of the crowd when they sing 'she would’ve made such a lovely bride/what a shame she's fucked in the head' because it's so sad. But those songs like All Too Well - performing All Too Well is one of the most joyful songs I ever do. When there's song like Champagne Problems, you know it's so sad. You know that! But I love a sad song, you know?

                . . . .

                Well, he doesn't think of it that way. He's always just playing instruments and he doesn't do it in a strategic, 'I'm writing a song right now' thing. He's always done that. But do I think we would’ve taken the step of, 'Hey, let's see if there's a song in here? Let's write a song together ' if we hadn’t been in lockdown? I don’t think that would’ve happened and I’m so glad that it did.

                (Taylor to Zane Lowe on what it’s like to not be the only musician in the household)

                . . .

                It (exile) is so sad. We're so proud of that one. And I do remember the moment I walked in and he was playing that exact piano part and all I had to do was follow the piano melody with the verse melody because the vocal melody is exactly the same. It's mirrored with the piano part he wrote and we did the same thing with evermore. I'll just hear what he's doing, it's all there, I just have to dream up some lyrics and come up with some gut wrenching heart shattering story to write with him.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on writing exile and evermore with Joe

                That explains it!

                folklore and evermore include our favorite artists. We've always listened to Bon Iver and The National. And I never imagined that Justin would be, would dive into this project with me like this. Justin has his own musical world and his own, in my mind it was this impenetrable force field of brilliance. He cultivates talent from everywhere, he operates out of Eau Claire. I never know how I'd get in contact with him. My in was that Aaron Dessner, who produced these albums and wrote with me, is his best friend. They have a connection, they would do anything for each other, they'd do anything to support each other's projects. It's really sweet and pure and lovely, their love and respect for each other. So he said to me, when I sent him exile, he said to me, 'I think Justin would be into this. I think he would be into this.' And I said, 'This will break my heart if he doesn’t want to, because my biggest anxieties say to me the artist that you love will never love you too.' So it was just a really huge moment, just all around a really good moment when he wanted to be part of it. When we went into make evermore, Justin leaned in. He's playing lead guitar on cowboy like me, he's doing the drums on that song, the drums on closure, background vocals on ivy and marjorie. Justin Vernon working so naturally and so enthusiastically on evermore was a really cool turn of events because I feel truly truly honored and I can't wait to meet him.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on working with her (and Joe’s) favorite artists


                I was writing it as if I were Matt, so I'm glad it tracked. [...] I'm so glad you like that one. I'm a huge fan of The National. I love the way they do that sort of downbeat, sometimes self-loathing, reflective just cut right to the heart of the matter lyricism. It's why I'm such a fan of the band, and when we had an idea that Matt could sound amazing on this, that was kind of the perspective I was coming from: a male perspective of regret or guilt after a lifetime of a pattern of behavior. And I'd been touching on that on the song tolerate it, where theres this person who was on one side of a relationship who felt their partner’s been there but they haven’t been there, but they're just sitting next to each other eating breakfast, but they haven't been there. So writing Matt’s part was really fun. I loved, 'We were like the mall before the internet/it was the one place to be.' I was reflecting on the Coney Island visual, on the place where thrills were once sought once all electricity and magic and all the lights are out and you're looking at it thinking, 'What did I do?' I really liked having him say happy birthday, where he's standing in the hallway, with a big cake, happy birthday, when I knew I'd release it on my birthday week. I got to have the lead singer of my fave band to wish me happy birthday, so that’s the real win.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on Coney Island

                . . .

                I actually don’t think that I believed that this song would exist in the world because in my head, that wasn't going to happen. I never wanted to get too invested because I wanted to understand that Justin could say at the last minute, 'Hey, I don’t want to be on the record,' and I wanted that to be ok with me. So I didn’t assign too much to it and I didn’t fuse myself to the idea this was real until the album was actually out. And I remember going on drives and listening to exile and I was like, 'Oh, it happened, this song got made, finished, put out into the world, and we're all happy about it, and people are listening to it and it was sort of–I don’t mean to seem so aw shucks about it, but I didn’t want to get my heart broken. People can change their minds about things. […] 'Step right out' was the moment. When he added that part, that was the moment that sent me into the universe without any chance of returning because we had written up to that point, and he added that so when we got the recording back, we had no idea what he'd do, and when we heard that part it was just like, 'Hands on face, face is melting, everything is made out of confetti.'

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on making exile with Bon Iver

                . . .

                There were a double meaning to the months mentioned (July and November and December) and feelings mentioned. One of the meanings is that I wrote this song and these lyrics when we were coming up to the election and I didn't know what was going to happen. So almost I was almost preparing for the worst to happen and trying to see some sort of glimmer at the end off the tunnel and the last verse it goes through–you're walking barefoot, middle of winter, and standing on a balcony, and letting icy wind hit you, and you're catching your death, and in that last chorus, the person comes inside again, and it's finally warm, and finally safe. It's about the process of hope again. But it also reflected back to an experience I had that was pretty life-altering when I went through a bunch of really bad stuff in 2016, like July, November, all those times were just taking it day by day to get through and trying to find a glimmer of hope and all that. So I was coming at it from both of those perspective.

                And we did it the same way as exile: Joe wrote the piano, I based the vocal on piano, we sent it to Justin, who added the bridge. Joe had written the piano part so the tempo speeds up and the music completely changes to a different tempo on the bridge and Justin latched onto that and 100% embraced it. And Justin wrote this beautiful, just the clutter of all your anxieties in your head and all speaking at once, and then we got the bridge back and I wrote this narrative of, 'When I was shipwrecked, I thought of you, and there was this beacon of hope, and you realized the pain wouldn’t be forever and it could get better.' That’s why I wanted to end it there. There are two bonus tracks coming out as a second ending, too.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on evermore

                . . .

                Well, that’s very perceptive of you because that song was the last song I wrote on evermore. So I think that line specifically was, 'I haven’t met the new me yet.' In the context of the relationship song, I was trying to channel my friends who have gotten out of very, very impactful, life-altering relationships and saying, 'How do I pack this up, put it in a box, put it in my car, and drive away? What did I leave there?' So from that perspective it goes to, 'I haven't met the new me yet,' as in the person I'm going to have to become to get over this person who will have to have new hobbies, and things other than you. In the beautiful fool lyric, I was meaning you haven't met the person who's going to replace me, but I know you're going to. In the third verse, it goes to, 'I haven't met the new me yet, she'll give you that.' I think she's going to forgive you and give you the green light to move ahead. But in my mind, there's another meaning to the phrase too. I have no idea what comes after this truly no plan and I'm ok with that. It does feel like this is it for a bit, and I don’t know what that means. The phrase is exactly what I mean the phrase is exactly what happens next.

                Taylor to Zane Lowe on happiness

                So many things to note! She's being very open about collaborating with Joe, and all of the 'we's and 'ours' in this interview are SENDING ME. The fact that Joe wrote the piano for the bridge as well as the opening and closing verses surprised me - that suggests a higher level of piano skill/composing than I was giving him credit for. We didn't get any new insight into what lyrics he might also have been responsible for (if any?) this time around, but saying 'story to write with him' suggests that he prob was part of the lyrics process as well. We don't know what he contributed to coney island, either, but interesting that he came up with the melodies for champagne problems given that song is being compared so favorably to some of her best stuff.

                Given the microscope any release by Taylor Fucking Swift is put under by fans and critics alike, can you imagine how nerve wracking this whole thing has to have been for him? As the only non-professional of the bunch, it would have suuuuuucked beyond measure if the only songs he contributed to were like, rated the worst of the albums or something. I mean, you don't want to be That Guy, the one who ruined a Taylor Swift album. Especially for songs that wouldn't have existed without his input. Must have been a total relief (but surreal!) when exile, a song he was just noodling with aimlessly, was nommed for a Grammy. Obvs, he doesn't think of himself as some kind of musical genius or anything, but it's pretty cool to be living with an bonafide musical genius that can turn your random hobby into spun gold. Taylor is the actual Midas (or Rumplestilskin?) in this arrangement!

                This is interesting:

                random things:

                What she says about 'happiness' reminds me of how I kinda think she wrote that one and The 1 while thinking a bit about Lena and Jack. Of all of Taylor's friends, that would have been one of the longest relationships she was super close to ( 6 yrs + I think?) and Lena, according to the gazillion different interviews she has done post split (in 2020 she is STILL talking about it) really flailed and floundered and lost herself and had to reinvent herself afterwards. And Taylor would have heard both sides of that split and like, HOURS of it, I'm guessing. Side note: some people are speccing based on Abi and her husband's insta activity (deleting pics of each other, then going private) that they have also split up after seven years, so it's possible I guess that Taylor is hearing some divorce dramz from that side of things, too. Hope not! That would be sad.

                Justin Vernon playing lead guitar on cowboy like me . . . I mean, did Justin Vernon have ANY IDEA in Jan 2020 that this was going to be the year he was gonna be playing a bunch of ee haw? I'm guessing no.

                That whole song is still living free rent in my head. I think I love it so much because it's like a Danielle Steel novel from the 80s, not about the main characters but maybe about two side characters, like the somewhat tawdry bottle blonde cousin of the main character who has been seducing rich men for years but meets her con artist match at a country club in Dallas and gets sidetracked while targeting a handsome tycoon -- and so the main character is the one who ends up with the handsome tycoon instead. Lots of dramz!

                Also, Taylor not realizing she has a home phone is a throwback to this moment:

                Never change. (but always keep changing.)

                Can you believe we are still getting TWO MORE SONGS. My brain has not processed that yet.

                With her Apple Songwriter of The Year award:

                No lies detected.

                You can see the reflection of the yellow room in the award. These rooms don't match up to her previous London house pics . . . I know she mentioned that a home phone was ringing and that she didn't know she had a home phone, and I think! Maybe this is either a new rental in London, or she's renting a new place closer to Marcus Mumford's place while she uses his studio for the re-records. Could make sense.

                Today, we also got the near quarterly reminder from Tree! and People that Taylor and Joe are together:


                Taylor Swift 'Is Very Happy' with Boyfriend Joe Alwyn, Says Source: 'He Is Her Rock'

                Taylor Swift and boyfriend Joe Alywn's "Love Story" is going strong.

                In this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, a source close to the superstar, 31, says she "is very happy" with the British actor, 29, whom she has dated for more than four years.

                "He is her rock," says the source. "Their relationship is mature and wonderful."

                While the source says that Swift "loves" that she and Alwyn "have been able to keep their relationship so private" since they started dating in 2016, the singer has been more open about him in recent months.

                "I think that in knowing him and being in the relationship I am in now, I have definitely made decisions that have made my life feel more like a real life and less like just a story line to be commented on," Swift told Paul McCartney in December during an interview for Rolling Stone. "Whether that’s deciding where to live, who to hang out with, when to not take a picture ... it’s really just trying to find bits of normalcy."

                Quarantining together amid the pandemic, the couple bonded even further by cowriting songs. After months of speculation, Swift confirmed in her Disney+ documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, which premiered in November, that "William Bowery" — the mystery songwriter on her Grammy-nominated surprise summer album folklore — is, in fact, Alwyn.

                "I heard Joe singing the entire fully formed chorus of ‘Betty’ from another room, and I just was like, 'Hello,'" Swift revealed in the film about the folklore track. "I came in and I was like, 'Hey, this could be really weird and we could hate this, [but] because we’re in quarantine and there’s nothing else going on, could we just try to see what it’s like if we write this song together?'"

                Swift has since teamed up with Alwyn for three more songs on her new album evermore, which dropped as a surprise for fans on Dec. 11. On the record, Alwyn (under his "William Bowery" pseudonym) is credited as a co-writer on three songs — "Champagne Problems," "Coney Island" and evermore’s title track — but is happy to stay behind the scenes.

                "Taylor was very excited to share a second album with fans, and Joe has been supportive as always," the source says. "He is a very laidback person."

                In 2021, Swift likely won't be slowing down, as she's nominated for six Grammys at the annual awards ceremony being held on Jan. 31. But first, says the source, she and Alwyn "are looking forward to celebrating Christmas together."

                Which is basically their way of saying not to expect Joe to be talking about the albums in any interviews upcoming, which we kinda expected. But I totally want that. Maybe he'll get ambushed the next time he's doing press for a project next year (he has a few coming out).


                Thread of people from Pennsylvania's random Taylor connections:


                Some highlights:

                Last edited by ophy; 12-16-2020, 04:26 PM.


                • Thank you for this roundup! I missed the Kimmel interview the other night and forgot to YT it.

                  One of my favorite parts of her Apple interview was when she described folklore as being about conflict resolution and evermore more about relationships ending. That's so succinct, but YES. And y'all I'm trying to get into Joe because he seems awesome on paper and also makes Taylor happier than we've ever seen her. I've YTed a bunch of his interviews, but he's...there? I'm guessing he's way cooler and more interesting in person since I feel like Taylor would've gotten bored by now if he wasn't. Or maybe he is just a nice normal dude and she's been dating self-obsessed actors and musicians her whole life and appreciates that's he's extremely chill and mature with a stable family.


                  • Wow! I like how much Taylor loves her own songs. Those interviews are awesome! Thanks, ophy for bringing them over here.


                    • My co-worker is very consumed with the idea that Coney Island is about Taylor's exes, particularly Caldog Hairbow.

                      I'm still not quite into the record yet -- I mostly haven't had time to truly listen? But Gold Rush, Tis the Damn Season, and No Body No Crime jumped out for me on first pass. I reserve the right to radically change this list over the winter.
                      Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


                      • I am having trouble keeping up with all the Taylor content. Thanks, O.

                        I watched the Apple interview yesterday while waiting for a stressful work email and she seems so happy with both albums and the experiences. It was just cute.


                        • Bonus track lyrics y'all:

                          right where you left me is very very very Miss Havisham:

                          I mean, very very very.

                          Add that to the list of movies they probably watched during quar. It has reminded folks on tumblr of this quote:

                          So probably has to do with her feelings around fame, etc.

                          And oh hey, I'm eating my words! Karlie did get a verse on it's time to go, which is NOT a song based on anyone but Taylor:

                          I mean, it's one of the three opening scenarios but very obviously about her:

                          When the dinner gets cold and the chatter gets old
                          You ask for the tab

                          Or that moment again he's insisting that friends
                          Look at each other like that

                          When the words of a sister come back in whispers
                          That prove she was not
                          In fact that she seemed, not a twin from your dreams
                          She's a crook who was caught

                          et tu brute?

                          (Did you think I wouldn't hear all the things you said about meeeee)

                          Ah, sad! Taylor said Karlie was just like family, and she never had a sister before and ugh. So yeah, this screenshot is circulating again:

                          To me, this is just extra validation that nothing romantic ever happened between Taylor and Karlie, though. 'sister' and 'twin;, I mean . . . although hey! she trusts Joe like a brother lol.

                          The one about the guy who's secretly cheating with his 'friend', though! No idea if that is a real scenario, but! Lots of rumors that when Coolidge Hooper broke up with Aarika to date Taylor that they didn't exactly 'break up'. She was still always around. She was even seated behind them during an awards ceremony, and was spotted in Vegas many many times while he was doing his residency there and! they got back together not long after he and Taylor split (and are still together, I think?). Might not have any relevance here, dunno.

                          But the main bite of the song is about leaving BMG and Scott B.:

                          Fifteen years, fifteen million tears
                          Begging 'til my knees bleed
                          I gave it my all, he gave me nothing at all
                          Then wondered why I left
                          Now he sits on his throne in his palace of bones
                          Praying to his greed
                          He's got my past frozen behind glass
                          But I've got me

                          These were recorded at Marcus Mumford'a place, so probably very recently. They aren't available to stream yet, but maybe in a week or so.

                          This a gorgeous version of exile by Griff and Maisie Peters:


                          Taylor liked it:

                          So so nice.

                          Taylor hyping Joe:

                          I think it's adorbs how she so clearly wants the world to know that her man is talented and creative. Can you imagine how much she would actually hype him if he would let her/wasn't so low key and private?

                          She gets so pink here!

                          They are walking a fine line with sharing stuff with us without turning their life into a sideshow, but I hope they don't retreat totes zipped mouth again once the folklore/evermore era is ovah.

                          So Taylor's team leaned into the woodvale mistake to name this willow collection after it:

                          I like to think Joe's mom and dad think this is very funny.

                          DON'T PLAY WITH US, MAN.

                          I think it's an easter egg for Joe and Aaron putting out an album without Taylor.

                          Taylor liked these tweets:

                          Also this one, that noted she used her grandmother's name on her chair in the Wildest Dreams video:

                          An easter egg that didn't pay off until 6 years later! That's wild. (pardon the pun.)

                          Taylor and Harry are both slated to perform at the Grammys (in person? or maybe not?)

                          . . . so maybe we'll manifest this manip coming true:

                          Given that nature abhors a vacuum, it was inevitable that a new kween would begin to emerge! huzzah!:



                          We shall dub thee 2kween.

                          rando kays:

                          Anonymous asked:

                          Amazing Taylor can write all these damn songs with Karlie references for 4+ albums and people still be like, "she's straight. Leave her alone!"

                          Biitch. She needs to leave us alone. We don't write the damn songs!

                          'tis the damn season hunny!

                          Yes, you are getting some Karlie references, but not the ones I think you want!

                          Anonymous asked:

                          Up until folklore, peace had become my favorite Kaylor song. That song is deeply moving, and I thought Taylor couldn’t possibly write a better song that described their story.. and then she came up with cowboy like me. It’s such a lovely and superior song on its own, but when you listen to it from Kaylor lens, the implications are staggering!!! Every single verse is top-tier. These ladies have been plotting a major take-down of “rich folks (men)/skeletons in the closet” and I can’t wait to see the endgame unfold. Forever is the sweetest con...♥️

                          Anonymous asked:

                          How I feel about folklore & evermore

                          Taylor "tolerates" men and dreams about being with women regularly for the point it feels like a curse, but it's just the invisble (gay) string, a gravitational pull tying her to her lover. She uses her "beerds and candles " to free herself to express these private desires.

                          Cue up WB for all her WLW songs

                          Anonymous asked:

                          Umm so gold rush is a hetero song? Is there really anyone out there who refers to a guy/boy who grew up beautiful? Taylor’s like you people don’t get it with “gorgeous”, let me be even more explicit that I’m writing about a woman. And that line about turning her life into a folklore.. ughh Taylah your mind woman!

                          I will nevah get ovah the kay insistence that you can't call dudes 'beautiful' or 'gorgeous'. You aren't hanging with the right dudes, then. Go find the pretty ones.

                          ETA Bonus track leaks!

                          right where you left:


                          time to go:


                          They are both okay? but not necessary to the album, I don't think. I don't like either of them more than I like the lakes.
                          Last edited by ophy; 12-18-2020, 10:56 AM.


                          • I love Time To Go! I think I like it better than The Lakes, but like with all her songs, I need time for them to settle in my ears. Right Where You Left Me has major Kacey Musgraves vibes, as the youths say. Reminded me a lot of Merry Go Round or Follow Your Arrow which are both awesome songs. Aww, now I'm thinking about seeing Kacey in New Orleans last year and how fun concerts are and how we were supposed to go see Taylor in Boston after a week in Cape Cod and how none of that happened.

                            Unrelated to Taylor, but Kacey's ex husband Ruston Kelly has been hanging out with Olivia Munn recently and now I wonder if that is a new situation.

                            ANYWAY, none of the bonus tracks has topped You Are In Love for me, but that song is a Top 10 Taylor song on my list so it's hard to compete with that. If I was Lena Dunham, I'd probably just fall down on the floor every time I heard it.

                            That Karlie verse! Oof, it's rough. Jen Lawrence is blowing up Emma Stone's phone right NOW over that verse.


                            • That Karlie verse is confirming everything we speculated about their rift.

                              I like all new Tay content!


                              • I hope the new Kween is the source of many great bits of krazy.

                                Okay, so maybe I am not over speculating about who is in the songs, because I am eating up that Karlie verse.

                                Also this:
                                Or trying to stay for the kids
                                When keeping it how it is will
                                only break their hearts worse
                                Is what I hear from every child of divorced parents and I count it as a subtle dig at her father which for whatever reason I am always here for.