It was confirmed earlier this week that Taylor Swift’s album, folklore, was the #1 album of 2020 based on a combination of sales and streaming data. It was also one of the most critically well-received albums of the year, which is why she’s contending for all kinds of Grammys.
Her second surprise album, evermore, just dropped a few weeks ago, very late in the year, so it’s lower down the list but, obviously, the fact that it’s on the list is a testament to Taylor’s popularity and output – and she keeps releasing even more music. The deluxe version of evermore now includes two bonus tracks:
Taylor has said that on folklore and evermore, she’s taken her songwriting in a new direction, telling stories about other people, creating new characters, imagining other worlds. With “it’s time to go" though, the song people are talking about, Taylor seems to once again be at the centre of the narrative, as so many of the lyrics correspond to gossip that has persisted for years about one of her friendship and a contentious relationship that has been in the spotlight for the last couple of years. Let’s start with the beef with Scott Borchetta, former head of Big Machine Label Group, who sold her masters to Scooter Braun over her objections. Taylor’s first seven albums, from the time she debuted, going on to become one of the most commercially successful, if not the most commercially successful, artists in the business, were released through BMLG. Here’s the part of the song that corresponds to that situation:
“Fifteen years, fifteen million tears
Begging 'til my knees bled
I gave it my all, he gave me nothing at all
Then wondered why I left
Now he sits on his throne in his palace of bones
Praying to his greed
He's got my past frozen behind glass
But I've got me”
It seems very, very unlikely that this is fiction and not related to the fact that she doesn’t have ownership of her masters. But while we all know, because she’s told us, how betrayed she feels by Scott, it’s been less certain how she feels about Karlie Kloss. She and Karlie used to be best friends. And it’s been years since they’ve had any public contact. Taylor hasn’t openly addressed the speculation about the demise of their friendship but there have been signs along the way. She never engages with Karlie on social media. She doesn’t include her when she’s listing off the people closest to her. Members of her tightest friend circle have liked posts on social media about Karlie selling Taylor out. And now… she appears to have included Karlie in a song alongside Scott, one of her most prominent enemies. There should be no question anymore about where thing stand. Not with these lyrics:
“When the words of a sister come back in whispers
That prove she was not in fact who she seemed
Not a twin from your dreams
She's a crook who was caught”
Taylor and Karlie used to call each other “sisters” all the time. And they used to comment on how they were like “twins”, not only because of their physical similarities but because of how they’d dress – one showing up in a certain outfit without telling the other but then finding out that the other was wearing the same thing, sh-t like that, etc.
There have also been rumours that it was Karlie, who is tight with Scooter Braun, was the one who shared privileged information about Taylor to Scooter and Taylor busted her for it. Taylor may actually be confirming that rumour in “it’s time to go”. And declaring that, in both cases, with Karlie Kloss and Scott Borchetta, “sometimes giving up is the strong thing”.
And the gossip here isn’t just the fracture in the friendship itself, it’s HOW fractured it must be if she’s linking Karlie with Scott, someone she considers to be treacherous and duplicitous, and now a mortal enemy.