"Taylor Swift, but" in a very specific location.
An entire subgenre of Taylor Swift remixes has quietly grown on YouTube, with accounts like Swift Leaks combining original Swift tracks with ambient audio and images from various locations to create atmospheric experiences. Take, for example, "cowboy like me," but it's being played from a jukebox in an empty mall on a rainy night" and "betty" by taylor swift but you showed up at their party."
Unsurprisingly, the folklore and evermore remixes include a lot of rain, sparking the hashtag #FolkloreRainExperience. Could anything be sadder than "tolerate it in the rain," or more nostalgic than "seven," but you're on a swing under a tree and it's raining"? And even when they're not explicitly "rain" remixes, they often include rain in their soundscape—"'coney island' by taylor swift but you're sitting on a bench in coney island" features the boardwalk in the rain, "Cornelia Street," from Lover, is set in New York City ... in the rain.
But the most poignant remixes are when songs from pandemic-era albums folklore and evermore are paired with experiences that we haven't yet been able to have with them. "the lakes" "but you're on Windermere Lake" can be charming escapism—or a reminder that we couldn't go "to the lakes where all the poets went to die" if we wanted to (and we want to). "mirrorball" in the "bathroom at a party" hits harder when there aren't parties. There are no "masquerade revelers" just outside the locked door, nobody to dance with or for.
Still, this whole subgenre is lovely proof of what we've always known. Swift is a master of crafting not only great songs, but immersive experiences—so throw on your "cardigan" cardigan, a pair of headphones, and listen to "'cardigan' by taylor swift but you're in the rain."
What's your favorite Taylor Swift song (and can you wait for her re-recording of "Fearless"?!)? What location would you combine it with? My vote is for peace, but you're cuddling in front of the fireplace with your partner. Tell us your ideas in the comments.