Explore the Archives
A Journal of the Plague Year Arizona Collection Australia Boston Bronx Community College New York Brooklyn College New York Canada Las Americas New Orleans Oral Histories Philippines Sacramento Community Based Organizations Southwest Stories Teaching the Pandemic The City College of New York

Collected Item: “Taylor Swift's Pandemic Ballad”

Give your story a title.

Taylor Swift's Pandemic Ballad

What sort of object is this: text story, photograph, video, audio interview, screenshot, drawing, meme, etc.?

Video

Tell us a story; share your experience. Describe what the object or story you've uploaded says about the pandemic, and/or why what you've submitted is important to you.

Taylor Swift was a defining artist in the 2010s. As her following grew, she ventured further into pop and spectacle, but with the sudden onset of Covid and its subsequent lockdowns, Swift changed her music style to a minimalist folk aesthetic. The song "exile" featuring Bon Iver captured the melancholic and rundown emotions of the general public by the end of 2020 and was a cathartic experience. "Exile" and its accompanying album "Folklore" were widely praised and "Folklore" went on to become the best-selling album of 2020.

The music video for "exile" shows how music production changed during the pandemic. In the video, Swift and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon are seen sitting in separate home studios, as they never met in person to record the song due to travel restrictions. All the musicians featured are socially distanced and Vernon is wearing a face covering. There are also no special effects, a small budget, and a simple editing style, which stands in contrast to Swift's pre-pandemic music videos.

HIST30060

Use one-word hashtags (separated by commas) to describe your story. For example: Where did it originate? How does this object make you feel? How does this object relate to the pandemic?

music, pop culture, Taylor Swift, Bon Iver

Enter a URL associated with this object, if relevant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5SQIECedTY

Who originally created this object? (If you created this object, such as photo, then put "self" here.)

Taylor Swift

Give this story a date.

2020-11-25
Click here to view the corresponding item.