Taylor Swift Continues Goth Transformation in Hunger Games Track

Categories: Gothtopia

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It started out as a joke, you know? Chris Gray threw us a curve ball and said, "Taylor Swift is coming to town. Do something with that, you little eyeliner-wearing fangster." Well we did sit down and listen to the young country superstar, and to our surprise we discovered that somewhere in what we're sure is her gigantic mansion must be a closet full of corsets and stompy boots. You mark our words, before the definitive tome on Taylor Swift is written she will be known as a goth icon.

Tracking points across her timeline we've delved in her Birthday Massacre-esque lyrics, the tortured impassioned stage performance she unleashes in her song "Haunted," and her appearance in the only legitimate vampire entertainment outlet currently available, True Blood. Tellingly, that last example accompanied a scene where a waifish, pale country-girl vampire gives into her bloodlust and also her regular lust by having an energetic sex scene under the moon in the back of a pickup truck. Maybe we're reaching, here, but if we are look at how awesome what we're reaching for is (That would be hot Taylor Swift vampire sex).

Now Swift has released her contribution to the soundtrack for the upcoming Hunger Games adaptation. Now, we haven't read the books because we're reading Game of Thrones and we only have time to read about twenty pages a day, which means we'll be done roughly around the time the sun goes nova. Still, should we ever get done Hunger Games is next on the list as a teenage version of the Running Man (Book, not movie) sounds keen. Like Battle Royale without all that legendary Japanese subtley.

The song is called "Safe and Sound" and features the Civil Wars in addition to Swift. We've embedded a vid below so you can listen to it as we pontificate.

Sometimes it feels like we're a lone voice in the wilderness when we say this, but lone voices in the wilderness are going to be the next incarnation of goth. The sound we call Southern Gothic embraces a simplicity found in folk and country mixed with desolation, emptiness, morbidity, and the grace of good deathrock. Swift captures that mood perfectly, being both beautiful and hopeless at the same time. Just listen to those lyrics.

Don't you dare look out your window, darling
Everything's on fire
The war outside our door keeps raging on
Hold onto this lullaby
Even when the music's gone
Gone

You could drop those lines into almost any Siouxsie song and they would perfectly. You could say that Swift is just doing justice to a film that by all accounts is a pretty bleak affair, and to that we reply that you're confusing cause with effect. She's not fulfilling a contract, she's searching for an excuse to let the black out from under the blonde. We wouldn't be at all surprised if the next album from Swift played like late-career Johnny Cash, or barring that Hannah Fury, both of them fully goth by our measure. With any luck she'll embrace something darkly stringy like Melora Creager. Considering she already dresses like Creager it would be a perfect match.

Regardless, it's fun to watch Swift get drawn to the dark side, and we'll be waiting for her.

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10 comments
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Taylor Swift  is required to have some more time to be mature ...

siouxsiel
siouxsiel

You are definitely on to something with the Taylor Swift stuff.  Keep up the good work.  Don't let it go!!!!xoxoS

Mwezzi
Mwezzi

Country music has traditionally been very bleak, sometimes even apocalyptic.  It's not gothic though - it doesn't fit into the Goth musical tradition, evolving from punk, post-punk, some aspects of 80's indie/new-wave and other harder music like industrial.   Similarly, lots of metal has pretty dark lyrics but isn't goth in the slightest.  Lyrical content is only one thing that makes goth music what it is, and sweetly-sung Americana isn't part of it in the slightest.

Joebry
Joebry

Scott Borchetta of BMR said the 4th album would sound nothing like this.

guest234
guest234

i dunt lik dis song. to dark evn for swift.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift gothic? Hardly. Sweet and bubbly... very humble and down to earth.

This song is for The Hunger Games and probably a scene where *spoiler* one of the character dies.

Jef With One F
Jef With One F

I would argue that while, yes, there is a true descent of goth straight from the Bauhaus tradition, that it also has a long history of incorporation from other forms. There's plenty of room for dark folk, neo-folk bands like Awen or even different aspects of Nick Cave from various periods. I remain an egalitarian when it comes to goth, and have happily drafted Johnny Cash, Ray Davies, and Peter Steele into the label without a qualm.

Rozemaiden
Rozemaiden

Who says Goths can't be sweet and bubbly?

Mwezzi
Mwezzi

 I maintain that there is actual 'goth' music and then there's 'music that's goth-friendly but not necessarily goth'.  If we called all music with dark lyrics 'goth', that would mean incorporating emo, metal, swathes of country, folk, pop (including Britney Spears) and others.  I prefer to steer clear of labelling things goth if they have nothing to do with the goht/post-punk/industrial/synthpop roots that have created all the music generally defined as gothic.  There's nothing wrong with being a goth and enjoying other music, but I think it's plain old silly to redefine everything just because a single aspect of it fits with the type.  This song just doesn't sound goth at all.  It's just a bit dark.  And that's okay.

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