Taylor Swift has always said she loves fall. “Basic autumn lovers RISE” was what she captioned one of her more popular TikToks a couple of years ago to celebrate the season. That was in 2021 but Taylor was referencing her Tumblr post from 2014 which is why I think she should sue Christian Girl Autumn, Caitlin Covington (ugh), because Taylor was performing autumn way before she was. I mean that was Taylor’s entire vibe during the whole Jake Gyllenhaal romance.
But whatever, I’m not really here to talk about Taylor’s fall aesthetic. We’re here to talk about Taylor’s fall domination. She laid claim to autumn and she is owning the autumn of 2023 in multiple categories. As I wrote yesterday, she’s winning at movies, and music, and football, and love. And just yesterday, another achievement:
“Cruel Summer” has topped the Billboard Hot 100 over four years after Lover was released, a big flex for what many, including me, consider to be the best song on that album. And if you’ve been visiting this site for a while, and remember from back in 2019, I think I was screaming at least once a week about “Cruel Summer” and why she never released it as a single and chose instead to go with those two annoying AF tracks, “ME!” and “You Need to Calm Down”.
But, as usual, in the end Taylor comes out on top. Because now she and Jack Antonoff are saying that it was intentional, that they held “Cruel Summer” back because they knew it would pop off on its own, the music industry’s version of a sleeper hit, attracting a cult following, and then building on all affection to create even more momentum by opening The Eras tour with the song… bringing it where it is today, another #1.
If you’re a Swiftie, you’re like, “HER MIND!!!” And if you’re not a Swiftie, well, it’s still admiration. Like I don’t know that I buy that this was her plan all along, because frankly I kinda prefer to believe that she was clearly able to pivot, paying attention to how people were responding to the song and then, retroactively, crafting a whole narrative about it in response. This is the business sense of Taylor merging with the creative in her. It’s more work than magic. And either way, she gets to hold up another trophy.
Like I said in my post yesterday about why she and Travis fit so well philosophically – Taylor is an artist who loves the standard and conventional measurements of success. The Billboard chart is her scoreboard, and now she’s claiming another victory. “Cruel Summer” has peaked in the fall, her time of year, and this fall, this year in particular, she’s been particularly formidable coming off the high from her tour, negotiating her own deal with the theatres to release her movie without violating strike rules, and of course the boyfriend, the professional athlete who plays for the most powerful sports league in North America. The league that is open for business in the fall, her season, and a league that has been so thirsty for her attendance at their games, they’ve been throwing free advertising her way…
Which, in part, has helped with taking “Cruel Summer” fall the way to the top, ha! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
So when I keep saying that she’s made the NFL her bitch, I’m not kidding. Taylor Swift is literally PROFITING off this relationship with Travis Kelce. Every advantage is weighted more in her favour in this situation than anyone else. So this peck on the cheek that went viral yesterday? It’s like she’s giving him a tip, LOL. A generous bonus from the girl who’s making it rain.