Courtesy of Big Machine Records.

June 6, 2022

Taylor Swift’s New Single: Album (or Two) to Follow?

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When I think of Taylor Swift’s album 1989, I don’t think of “This Love.” There is no denying that it is an amazing song, but it was always the kind of song I listened to while waiting to get to more exciting, upbeat songs like “Wildest Dreams” or “Out of the Woods.” However, following the release of “This Love” (Taylor’s Version), I know this song did not get the appreciation it deserved before. 

“This Love” (Taylor’s Version) was released at midnight on May 6 following a tease in the trailer of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series, The Summer I Turned Pretty. “This Love” was reportedly the first song written for 1989, co-produced with Nathan Chapman, who had produced all of Swift’s previous albums. The song is a soft and nostalgic ballad, with Swift singing about heartbreak and the revival of a faded romance. Her voice sounds much less processed and more genuine in the re-recorded version, evoking more of an indie sound than the original and making it more vulnerable, which adds to its quality. Her version of the song takes it to new levels, fully fit for a beachy, firework-filled, coming-of-age summer romance, which is perfect because that’s exactly what The Summer I Turned Pretty is.

The Summer I Turned Pretty premieres on Prime Video on June 1. The series is based on Jenny Han’s novel of the same name, and it stars Lola Tung as Belly Conklin, a teenage girl who spends her summers with her mother and older brother and gets caught in a love triangle with family friends, brothers Jeremiah and Conrad. The series is more than just a love story; it is also a multi-generational story about the ever-evolving relationship between mothers and their children, and the enduring power of female friendship. 

As a big fan of Jenny Han and Taylor Swift myself (middle school me would be freaking out), I am very excited to see if this series lives up to my expectations. I loved Han’s other series “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” when I read it, but found that the movies did not meet my expectations. However, Han has said that readers were taken into account during the development process of this series. “We’ll see the night swims and big crushes and all those sort of big, epic love moments this season. I did try to drop in a lot of Easter eggs throughout the series for the fans of the books,” she said.

Han and Swift certainly have their love for Easter eggs in common — Swift has been known to constantly drop Easter eggs for her fans, causing them (including myself) to use any small amount of information to try to figure out what she is going to release next. Swift has been using Easter eggs since she was putting together her first album, saying, “I wanted to do something that incentivized fans to read the lyrics, because my lyrics are what I’m most proud of out of everything that I do.” She has definitely succeeded: all over TikTok and Instagram, fans are using the release of “This Love” (Taylor’s Version) and The Old Taylor Shop merchandise on her store, which is themed to 1989 and Speak Now, to speculate about the potential release of 1989 or Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

My favorite theory was one on TikTok, which now has over 80,000 likes. The creator discusses how Taylor previously made a TikTok saying that her biggest inspiration for going from country to pop was Shania Twain. Shania Twain did this by double releasing an album that had country versions on one side and pop on the other. At first people thought that 1989 would be a double release where one side would be the original versions (Taylor’s Version), and the other side would be all remixes or features. However, based on the double release of 1989 and Speak Now merch, this TikTok user speculates that the double release will be a release of 1989 and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version); Speak Now is a country album, and 1989 is pop. Is “Drop Everything Now” (Taylor’s Version) coming next? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Freya Nangle is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected].