With a bold new synthpop sound and opinions on love, loss and martyrdom, country girl turned chart-stomping industrialist Taylor Swift is back. Just don’t mention Twitter trolls.
I don’t know about you, but Taylor Swift is feeling 24. If Tay at 22 was, as her slumber party anthem goes, “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time”, this year she’s clearer of mind: strong, sceptical, indie and willingly off the market. “RIP me!” she yawped recently to Graham Norton, and she wasn’t kidding. 1989, her fifth album released in late October, demands that you forget all you know about the Pennsylvanian. Early signs that she was out of love and liking it popped up on her Instagram feed six months ago. “There are far better things ahead than any we have left behind,” goes the CS Lewis quote she blogged. Then, in an interview with The Guardian in August, the country-pop crossover came clean. “[Having a relationship] isn’t really possible right now. It just doesn’t seem like a possibility in the near future. It doesn’t ever work.”
Swift – whose lovably goofy Colgate grin and Appalachian drawl make her the tween dream to take home to your parents – isn’t exactly intimidating, but she’s tougher in person than you’d expect. There’s an emotional grit to her new songs that may surprise the legions of fans who scream and cry along to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” on Vlogs and dissect Tay’s lyrics for relationship advice. The message in lead single “Shake It Off” is pretty clear: stop being a dick on Twitter. “Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break. And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake. Baby, I’m just gonna shake it off,” chants Swift, pleading for the demise of social media trolls and take-down tormentors.
Gliding towards me with a puppet-like weightlessness, the singer balances a latte on the flat of her hand. “Twitter’s dark underbelly is that it gives people a veil of anonymity: they can have a terrible day at work, and feel awful about themselves, and then come home and get drunk and call someone ugly on Instagram,” she laments. “If people don’t have anyone to talk to about [their problems], they go online and just say wicked, gross, cruel, mean-spirited things about people. I wrote ‘Shake It Off’ for my own situation, but also for the situation that everyone finds themselves in now. It’s not a celebrity issue, it’s a people issue.”
Read the whole story here