Taylor Swift & The National’s Aaron Dessner share acoustic “Cardigan” (and voice memo version)
Taylor Swift has released a new acoustic version of "Cardigan," one of the many songs she wrote with The National's Aaron Dessner for her new album folklore. It's called the "cabin in candlelight" version, and this earthy, minimal version is even closer to the "pivot to indie folk" descriptors that folklore has gained. Listen and watch the video below.
Here's an excerpt of our first-impressions review of the album:
It's her most overall subdued album by far, and there are plenty of subtle intricacies in the music, as you'd expect from an album that was not just largely co-written and co-produced by Aaron Dessner, but that also was made with several musicians from his musical community, including his National bandmates Bryan Devendorf and Bryce Dessner, as well as Ben Lanz, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), Rob Moose (yMusic, Bon Iver), Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman), Clarice Jensen (ACME, yMusic), Jason Treuting (So Percussion), James McAlister, JT Bates, Kyle Resnick (The National, Beirut), and Yuki Numata Resnick. (And for what it's worth, the songs that Taylor made with frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff fit right in with the Dessner productions, and one of the major highlights, "this is me trying," is an Antonoff collab.)
There are brief moments where it sounds like Taylor is assimilating into their world, like on "Peace," which was made with both Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon and kind of sounds like Taylor singing on a Big Red Machine song, but mostly it sounds more like the 37d03d were catering to Taylor's universe. The song where Justin Vernon sings ("exile") isn't Taylor going For Emma; it's Justin bringing that "Beth/Rest" and Bruce Hornsby collaborator energy to a sweeping Taylor Swift ballad. (It speaks to Taylor's vision and direction as an artist that she can create an album with such a drastically different group of musicians and still have it sound exactly like a Taylor Swift album.)
You can read more here.
You can also buy a limited edition "cardigan" single collection which comes with the original voice memo Taylor sent Aaron for the song on April 27, 2020 (alternate lyrics included) on vinyl and/or CD. See what Aaron and Taylor had to say about that below.