The line"I think your house is haunted your dad is always mad and that must be why" is the chaotic energy I needed this year
This week, I parked telly, and felt a strong urge to purge all my feelings about 2020 Taylor Swift and how much I STAN
The Last Great American Dynasty is the song I listened to the most this year, according to Apple Music. At the last check, it was over 100 listens and counting. No surprise to me as it was my favourite song of the year on my favourite album of the year. It matches nearly all the Taylor Swift perfect song criteria, which includes vulnerability, melodrama and most importantly a quality constructed narrative, telling the tale of heiress Rebekah Harkness, who owned Swift’s Rhode Island house. The song makes me want to drape myself in my godmother’s hand me downs, put on some red lipstick and be the heroine in a Dominic Dunne/Truman Capote novel. More songs need to do this. Does anyone know of any? Ta. Is this why I love Evita so much?
While we are on the subject - I am launching a campaign to get William Morrow & Co to reprint this! A whole army of Swifties led by me are gagging to dive into this book. Taylor Swift fashioned a market of readers who suddenly care about this woman who pissed off her neighbours with a wicked sense of humour and glamorous friends like Salvador Dali. Please publishers, just pretend this newsletter is the new The High Low; I will set trends.
rachel syme @rachsymeAlso @GabiTalisman sent me a copy of the Rebekah Harkness biography that is literally sold out everywhere on earth. All in all good mail day!!!! https://t.co/9hajkmWQsA
Anyway, delusion will win and luckily in a hint-hint wink way, it's MY BIRTHDAY ON THE 20TH JANUARY. Putting things out into the universe that I want is my MO in 2021, and what I want is more biographies of rich women! Please send me recommendations. I am constantly on the hunt for book suggestions. A fun fact about me is that I always love hearing about the book that changed your life.
ANYWAY, I DIGRESS.
Along with this song, Taylor Swift provided me and what seems 75 per cent of my Twitter timeline with the soundtrack of the latter half of 2020, and I am so grateful for that. Folklore dropping felt like Christmas in July, something to really bury yourself into, a friend when you were not legally allowed to see yours. Evermore was a welcome surprise blob of glee in these dark, winter days.
Folklore did not convert me into a Swifty; I’ve been obsessed with her since I was 13. The sudden CriTICaLy AcCLAimEd label does bother me because I think Folklore is not a big departure from her rather large body of work. Of course, now she is more grown-up, so less singing about cheerleaders and the like, but this notion that its a radical shake-up is frankly NONSENSE. There are few “indie folk” numbers, but a big chunk of the album is about teenagers! There’s the whole Cardigan love triangle. Its a bit bleaker, because *Gemma Collins voice* ya know corona, but it still a playful fantasy, like a lot of her earlier albums.
Forgive me for complaining, but while straight white men have labelled her as “alternative”, my eyes roll so hard it hurts. To paraphrase that Marilyn Monroe misquote, “if you cannot handle her at her You Belong With Me, You don’t deserve her at collaborations with Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver.”
Nah, I joke. You can like what you like, but I’m just being honest for a sec, letting my dickhead opinions out for a little bit. I’ll put them back in their box… until next week. I am who I am, after all. God bless you, weird boys who teased me liking Taylor Swift, now you may too love her with abandon. Live your best life.
Simping for T-Swizzle means you have to be happy for her. SHE DESERVES IT! All the praise that album got was warranted. No matter the musical style, each of her albums is an anthology of short stories, anecdotes and advice. Some are plucked from her own life experience, and some are purely fictional. As the title said, the line from Seven “I think your house is haunted, your dad is always made and I think that is why” makes you double-take. The whole album has zingers like Tears Ricochet with “if I am dead to you why are you at the wake?” I want to give a special mention to Inez from Betty because anyone with a big mouth is worthy of my respect. Also, special shout to A SWEARY Taylor Swift. We love to see it. The album opens on her singing “I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit.” in The 1.
Taylor Swift’s music has been the soundtrack of my life in a way that no other artists have. Music is a love of mine, but it’s not an obsession like say TV and books are. My taste is not very adventurous and I would never dare to play my Top 25 Most Played at a social gathering unless RuPaul and Michelle Visage where there. What I’ve noticed about music is that I gravitate towards music that tells a story.
Each of her albums represents a new era, new musical styles, marking an evolution in her life and her die-hard fans’ lives. Before Folklore and Evermore, usually, they came in two or so years apart; Taylor Swift (2006), Fearless (2008), Speak Now (2010), Red (2012), 1989 (2014), Reputation (2017), Lover (2019), so no one was expecting this. Probably to her advantage, there were no build-up singles. Why Ms Swift, are your singles so bad? God love you, but it makes being a Taylor Swift stan so hard when you’re like “No, she has great album tracks!” to everyone who raises an eyebrow at you because they think you actually like ME! I get it, I get it, but like no one likes it?
Evermore and I are slowly becoming pals, but we haven’t had as much as time together as me and Folklore. Like teenage girls on TikTok, I am obsessed with Champagne Problems, No Body, No Crime and Marjorie.
The other day, I whinged to my friend Gina that Taylor Swift had produced some of the best work of her career during the lockdown, while I just had created three generations of the same family on The Sims 4. Her achievements highlighted my lack thereof. Immediately, Gina told me to shut the fuck up, virtually slapped me via Zoom, and reminded me I had completed my MA Journalism during a pandemic, a treatment my wallowing self needed. Thanks, Gina, if you ever read this. Well done us. Class of 2020. Our graduation speaker was Ms Rona herself.
On top of creating her own immense body of work, Swift is adept at making the mediocre soar. An example I’d like to bring your attention is her cover of Phil Collin’s Can’t Stop Loving You. Making Mr P Collins a fun thing to listen to? We love to see it.
If you want to hear more about my opinions of Taylor Swift, you can listen to the podcast Wisdom Teeth I host with my three pals Sophie, Will and Alex. We dedicated practically a whole episode to her greatness, and it was a dream.