I imagine Damon Albarn is curled up in the foetal position at this very moment. His dismissive comments about Taylor Swift’s co-songwriting approach have led to one of those Twitter stampedes, with Swift swiping back at the former Blur frontman without a moment’s hesitation. Now, Aaron Dessner of The National is getting involved.
Dessner, who co-produced Swift’s 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore, took to Twitter after Albarn suggested that the singer doesn’t write her own songs. The Gorillaz and Blur musician sat down for an interview with the Los Angeles Times, in which he said that Swift’s co-writing approach isn’t really the same as writing your own songs, that it is at odds with his “traditionalist” view of the craft.
Responding to the suggestion that Swift is a “great songwriter”, Albarn said: “That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing,” Albarn said. “I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great.”
Unfortunately, Swift felt very much hated on and chose to respond to Albarn’s comments via Twitter: “I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this,” Swift said. “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.”
This morning (January 25th), Aaron Dessner also fired a scornful tweet in Albarn’s direction, writing that he was “not sure” why Albarn felt motivated to “to discredit Taylor’s brilliant songwriting,” before going on to clarify: “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.”
Jack Antonoff of Bleachers has also decided to add Albarn to his list of internet enemies, taking to the vacuum of Twitter to write: “I’ve never met Damon Albarn and he’s never been to my studio but apparently he knows more than the rest of us about all those songs Taylor writes. If you were there…cool…go off. If not…maybe…shut the fuck up?” Albarn has since apologised, arguing that his comments were taken out of context to generate a click-bait article.
“I totally agree with you,” he wrote to Swift. “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 discreet your songwriting. I hope you understand.”