30 Months After 1989, We Need More Taylor Swift Music
It’s been a long time since Taylor Swift released 1989, her landmark 2014 album. Am I craving new Swift music? Yes. Badly.
(DISCLAIMER: This isn’t a Kendrick Lamar fandom article. Sorry, loyal The Unbalanced readers. But here’s Kendrick’s verse on Bad Blood!)
One night my friends and I went to the bars. It was a warm Saturday night in early July 2015. The usually busy Long Island (ew.) bars were barren. I was accustomed to feeling completely claustrophobic amidst a sea of people that peaked in high school, not being completely free. My friends were puzzled at the emptiness of the typically packed bars.
“I don’t know why there’s nobody here tonight,” said one friend.
“They probably knew that we were coming,” said another.
I thought, “Maybe it’s because Taylor Swift had a concert at MetLife Stadium tonight.”
It’s been 30 months and one day (2.5 years or 914 days) since Taylor Swift released 1989, the most commercially successful album of her career. Fully embracing Swift’s move to pure pop, the album featured seven singles and has sold over six million records. It won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, among other accolades. 1989 spawned a worldwide tour that sold out football stadiums/the Tokyo Dome.
Two things were synonymous with even year autumns — the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series, and Taylor Swift releasing an album. 2016 marked the first time in Swift’s career that she did not release an album in the fall of an even numbered year. The Giants also didn’t win the World Series, losing to the eventual champion Chicago Cubs in the NLDS. 2016 was nuts. And it missed the pure joy (for me) of a Swift album release.
And I, for one, will not stand for itmedium.com
The most recent Swift news has centered on her tabloid life, rather than her musical career. She entered into relationships with DJ Calvin Harris and actor Tom Hiddleston. Yes, Taylor Swift dated the actor that played Loki in your favorite Marvel movies. From the Calvin Harris relationship spawned the Summer 2016 banger “This Is What You Came For,” which Swift was credited for under the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg. Out of the Hiddleston relationship came some pictures that seemed way too posed to be candid.
John Mayer with his seventh studio album release, and it’s a disappointing onemedium.com
And of course, Swift became synonymous with the snake emoji after Kim Kardashian dumped buckets of shade on Swift. Kardashian’s husband, Kanye West, infamously claimed that he made Swift famous. Taylor knew full well that West would mention her, with West saying “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex” in his track, “Famous.” Swift offered her own response to the drama, trying to give her side of the story. Oddly enough, Kardashian revealed that info with Keeping Up With The Kardashians ratings slumping. Whoops.
Yet there was no Swift album after those relationships ended. Or after the *snake emoji* drama.
The only drop of new Taylor Swift music since October 2014 is “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” the Fifty Shades Darker theme song that she shared with Zayn. It was released last December. Aside from that, the next closest thing to new Swift music was the sample of Swift’s voice on “This Is What You Came For,” with Rihanna providing the main vocals.
So yeah, it’s been a while. (The only two physical CD’s I’ve bought in the past three years have been 1989 and Run The Jewels’ RTJ3.) Many expected a Beyonce (or Drake) style “from out of nowhere” album drop last fall, but that wish never came to fruition.
A World Without Taylor (‘s Music)
It’s been a long two-and-a-half years without Taylor Swift’s music. Ever since her last single from 1989, “New Romantics,” dropped, some things have changed, while others have stayed the same. The Chainsmokers have taken over the “wow it really sucks to be white and in love” genre in Swift’s absence. Bruno Mars and Taylor’s buddy Ed Sheeran still firmly grasp the male pop artist niche. Kendrick Lamar has become a hip-hop demi god and Drake has split himself into different personalities, like (Harry Potter spoilers incoming) Voldemort and his Horcruxes.
But no female artist has filled Swift’s huge role in the pop ecosystem.
Halsey and Alessia Cara have risen in the consciousness of the general public, but have risen mostly as feature artists. Katy Perry and Lady Gaga have re-established themselves as pop powerhouses, but they exist in their own huge spheres. When a pop juggernaut is born, it’s a difficult spot to fill. Only six of iTunes’ top 50 songs features songs with a female as the lead artist (I didn’t count songs with artist labels like “Zedd featuring Alessia Cara” on this list.) The Billboard Hot 100 has only 12 songs with a female lead artist.
Despite the (typical) relationship roller-coaster and the Kim Kardashian snake emoji fiasco, the world needs new Taylor Swift music. Pop music isn’t the same without her affinity for catchy melodies, shady one-liners and all the album drama that ensues. Will we see a Swift album this fall? Who knows. But I know I’m not the only heterosexual male in his 20’s craving new Taylor songs to sing along to in the car alone. (Right? Right? Anyone?) Another year without new Taylor Swift music is a nightmare (not dressed like a daydream.)