Taylor Swift is well-known for her blind-item music about her romantic relationships and celebrity feuds. She knows that, but she admitted to Apple Music that, for her longterm mental health, she can’t just keep writing songs like that. In a new interview with the outlet, Swift explained writing songs rooted in fiction on albums folklore and evermore showed her a new way forward—one where her music divulges less about her personal life.
“I was just so happy that my world felt opened up creatively,” she said of how she felt after making folklore. “There was a point that I got to as a writer who only wrote very diaristic songs that I felt it was unsustainable for my future moving forward. It felt like too hot of a microscope…it felt a bit like I was like ‘why am I just like… if I’m writing about my life and all it is…’ On my bad days, I would feel like I was loading a cannon of clickbait when that’s not what I want for my life. And I think that when I put out folklore, I felt like if I can do this, this thing where I get to create characters in this mythological American town or wherever I imagine them, and I can reflect my own emotions onto what I think they might be feeling, and I can create stories and characters and stories and arcs and all this stuff, but I don’t have to have it feel like when I put out an album I’m just like giving tabloids ammunition and stuff…and constantly kind of like examining yourself in a way that feels like…”
“I felt like there would be a point in my life where I could no longer really do that and still maintain a place of good mental health and emotional health and all that,” she said. “So what I felt after we put out folklore was like, ‘Oh wow, people are into this too, this thing that feels really good for my life and feels really good for my creativity… it feels good for them too? Oh my god! I saw a lane for my future that—it was a real breakthrough moment of excitement and happiness, and I kind of referred to writing these songs as a flotation device because obviously this year is hell on earth for everyone and seeing what your fellow humans are going through…'”
Swift did include one song on evermore clearly about her own experience and relationship with her boyfriend of four years Joe Alwyn, “long story short.” The rest were primarily fictional, with small traces of fact blended in. As she put it herself, “thematically, we still explored mythology, stories, and secrets” on evermore.
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