The day has finally arrived… it’s 4.26, and Taylor Swift has released new music.
Her latest single “ME!” is a collaboration with Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, and it’s what bubblegum-pop dreams are made of. Is it what I was expecting from Taylor? Nope, but have I been listening to it nonstop ever since she dropped it last night? Absolutely.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard a Taylor Swift song. I was driving home from a Super Bowl party my senior year of high school. My crush was at the party, but he was dating someone else. I was feeling so sad and rejected, but then all of a sudden “Teardrops on My Guitar” came on the radio. T.Swift was singing about a guy named Drew who didn’t notice her, and I could TOTALLY relate. She just got me. I’ve been a fan ever since.
That’s the thing about our girl, Tay. Her music is extremely personal, almost like intimate diary entries, but it’s also universal. The specificity of her lyrics — "Photo album on the counter, your cheeks were turning red / You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-sized bed" — paints such a clear picture that you feel like you’re right there with her. Her writing is simple and complex at the same time, weaving vivid imagery and language to express infatuation, heartbreak, and all of the emotions in-between.
The world has witnessed Taylor’s evolution from adolescence to adulthood, and she’s taught us that growing pains come with growth. From breakups to gossip and drama, Taylor’s dealt with it all, but instead of hiding from the rumors, she confronts them with her music. Her most recent album “Reputation” was seemingly a response to the backlash she received from critics and haters. Just like back in the day when she sang, “Someday I’ll be living in the big ol’ city, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean,” Taylor just keeps shaking it off. And each time she bounces back, she shows us that her vulnerability is her strength and her pain is her power.
Taylor began her career as a country artist, but she has proven that her talents transcend musical genres. The fact that she has still maintained her artistic integrity while experimenting with different sounds shows how strong her musicianship is. Our girl’s not afraid to take a risk, and I commend her for that. Judging by her new pop single “ME!,” her seventh studio album will probably have a lot of pop influences, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she incorporates other musical styles as well. I’m secretly hoping we get some old-school Taylor ballads or country jams.
There has been so much speculation leading up to this day from Taylor’s devoted fans, “Swifties” as they’re affectionately called. They’ve been deciphering hidden clues on Taylor’s Instagram posts, from the meaning behind the number of palm trees in a photo to the number of holes in a picture of a fence. Taylor has always had a unique relationship with her Swifties, treating them more like close friends than followers. She has been known to organize private listening sessions, inviting her most loyal fans into her home and sharing her new work with them. Yesterday, when the cleverest of sleuths discovered that a butterfly mural in Nashville was related to Taylor’s new music, our queen showed up to surprise fans in all her pastel glory.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting this new Taylor Swift era. The rainbow vibes she’s been teasing on the 'gram are reminding me of old Taylor, and I’m HERE. FOR. IT. I feel like she’s out of the woods following “Reputation” and is ready for a fresh start — to begin again, if you will. Her new single “ME!” is equal parts catchy and uplifting: it makes you want to dance and then go out and embrace your individuality. As Tay says, “I’m the only one of me / Baby that’s the fun of me.” This is the empowering anthem we need right now.
So here’s to you, T.Swift. You are truly one of a kind, and our admiration for you will never go out of style.
With love, ME! (Hannah Kahn)