Taylor Swift doesn't need anyone to fight her battles, thank you very much. But a Cincinnati native kindly offered a helping hand against a "clueless" musician, anyway.
Aaron Dessner of Cincinnati-bred The National came to Swift's defense after Blur and Gorillaz singer Damon Albarn suggested during an interview with the Los Angeles Times that Swift doesn't write her own songs. He also suggested that co-writing songs was different from writing solo.
During the interview, Albarn told LA Times writer Mikael Wood, "She doesn't write her own songs." Wood accurately pushed back, saying that Swift does, indeed, write her own songs but she co-writes some of them. Albarn said "That doesn't count."
"I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes," Albarn said in the interview, which was published on Jan. 23.
Swift, one of the biggest-selling musicians of all time, is credited as a sole songwriter or co-writer on each of her albums. She has received multiple awards for her songwriting and even re-recorded previous albums to own full rights to her songs.
Swift fired back on Twitter, setting Albarn straight. "I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging," she said on Jan. 24.
"PS, I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering," Swift added in a separate tweet.
@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really fucked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW. https://t.co/t6GyXBU2Jd— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) January 24, 2022
Musicians who have collaborated with Swift chimed in with their experiences and observations, including Dessner, who had worked with Swift to produce her folklore and evermore albums as well as her re-recorded versions of "Fearless" and "Red." On Jan. 24, Dessner tweeted, "You're obviously completely clueless as to her actual writing and work process."
Not sure why you @Damonalbarn would try to discredit Taylor's brilliant songwriting but as someone who has gotten to press record around her ...your statements couldn't be further from the truth...you're obviously completely clueless as to her actual writing and work process— Aaron Dessner (@aaron_dessner) January 24, 2022
Dessner couldn't have predicted this week's drama, but one of his tweets from 2020 backs up his experience with Swift. On July 28 of that year, he posted a text from Swift in which she detailed lyrics to "Cardigan."
In October, The National celebrated the 20th anniversary of its self-titled debut album by releasing its entire catalogue on BandCamp.
Looking back at @taylorswift13 's text with her original voice memo of Cardigan...still surreal...a special edition of the song with the voice memo (which has alternate lyrics) is available thru Thurs. 7/30 only on her web site and iTunes pic.twitter.com/vr5qgUS8de— Aaron Dessner (@aaron_dessner) July 28, 2020
And Albarn? He eventually apologized to Swift — or "apologized," claiming that his comments were posted as "clickbait," even though he literally did accuse Swift of not writing her own songs.
I totally agree with you. i had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait. I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand. - Damon— Damon Albarn (@Damonalbarn) January 24, 2022