Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Three things to know about Taylor Swift’s new single

The singer takes on internet trolls in her new tune

Taylor Swift arriving at the Time 100 Gala at the Lincoln Center in New York on April 23, 2019. AFP
Taylor Swift arriving at the Time 100 Gala at the Lincoln Center in New York on April 23, 2019. AFP

Anticipation surrounding Taylor Swift’s upcoming album ramped up a notch with the release of a new single today.

The vibrant You Need to Calm Down is the second song Swift dropped to preview her seventh album Lover, out on August 23.

Unlike the previous single Me, featuring guest singer Brendan Uri from Panic! at the Disco, the pop princess takes the vocal reigns alone in the new song for what is another slice of catchy synth pop.

Commenting on the new tune, Swift told the podcast Beats 1 that the lyrics were inspired by some of the dour people she met. "It’s about how I’ve observed a lot of different people in our society who just put so much energy and effort into negativity, and it just made me feel like, ‘You need to just calm down, like you’re stressing yourself out. This seems like it’s more about you than what you’re going off about. Like, just calm down.”

Here are three other observations on the new song.

Swift says no to trolls

Whether its ex-boyfriends or the media, Swift’s lyrics often deliver sharp rebuttals to those slighting her. At its best, some of the lines are sharp and witty (Darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream in Blankspace) but most of the time it comes across as contrived. With You Need to Calm Down, she trains her sight on internet trolls. Considering a large swath of her fan base are young and impressionable, the lyrics could actually help sway a few teenagers in moving away from their keyboards: “Say it in the street, that's a knock-out/ But you say it in a Tweet, that's a cop-out/ And I'm just like, "Hey, are you okay?"

It all sounds colourful

Where Swift’s previous album Reputation is defined by its dark synth sounds, the two new songs from Lover indicates it will be a more upbeat affair. You Need to Calm Down has a simple (basically ‘Oh’ on repeat) and euphoric chorus that should go down a treat in her upcoming world tour.

Introducing Joe Little

The 36-year-old New Zealand producer made industry waves courtesy of his work with Lorde. Since the fellow Kiwi is Bff’s with Swift, it is only a matter of time before Little lends his knack for crafting winning electro tunes to Swift. In what is undoubtedly his biggest production gig to date, an elegant minimalism pervades You Need to Calm Down. With the synths warm synths and drums understated, it all allows Swift’s confident vocals to shine all that much brighter.

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