Nothing New (song)

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"Nothing New"
Song by Taylor Swift featuring Phoebe Bridgers
from the album Red (Taylor's Version)
WrittenMarch 2012
ReleasedNovember 12, 2021 (2021-11-12)
Studio
Genre
Length4:18
LabelRepublic
Songwriter(s)Taylor Swift
Producer(s)
Lyric video
"Nothing New" on YouTube

"Nothing New"[a] is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift featuring American singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers. Swift wrote the song in March 2012 and produced it with Aaron Dessner for her second re-recorded studio album, Red (Taylor's Version), which was released in 2021 through Republic Records.

A guitar-led folk song, "Nothing New" is about anxieties over romance and growing up. Music critics interpreted the song as Swift's message about the music industry's treatment of female musicians, and lauded the track for its production, songwriting, and the vocal chemistry between Swift and Bridgers. After Red (Taylor's Version) was released, the song reached the top 40 on singles charts of Australia, Canada, and Ireland. It peaked at number 43 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Background and release[edit]

"Nothing New" features Phoebe Bridgers (pictured in 2017).

Taylor Swift's fourth studio album Red was released in 2012 by Big Machine Records. It combines country and pop with many genres, prompting media debate over Swift's status as a country artist.[1][2] The album was a critical success, ranking at number 99 on Rolling Stone's 2020 revision of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[3] By June 2021, it had sold over 4.4 million copies in the United States.[4]

Swift signed with Republic Records after her contract with Big Machine expired in 2018; the contract granted her rights to the master recordings of her music.[5] In 2019, Big Machine, as well as the master recordings of Swift's first six studio albums, were acquired by businessman Scooter Braun.[6] Swift began re-recording her Big Machine albums in November 2020, as a means to own her master recordings.[7][8] The first re-recorded album, Fearless (Taylor's Version), the re-recording of Swift's 2008 album, was released on April 9, 2021.[9]

Swift released her second re-recorded album Red (Taylor's Version), the re-recording of the 2012 album, on November 12, 2021.[10] In addition to the original Red tracks, Red (Taylor's Version) features nine unreleased "from the Vault" tracks—including "Nothing New".[11] Swift wrote "Nothing New" on an Appalachian dulcimer in March 2012 when she was 22 years old.[12] She later approached Phoebe Bridgers to feature vocals on the track for Red (Taylor's Version).[13][14]

Music and lyrics[edit]

I've been thinking a lot about getting older and relevancy and how all my heroes have ended up alone.

— Swift describing what led her to write "Nothing New", 2012[12]

"Nothing New" was produced by Swift and Aaron Dessner, the latter who recorded the instruments at his Long Pond Studio in New York.[15] Swift's vocals were recorded by Christopher Rowe at Kitty Committee Studio in Belfast, and Bridgers's were recorded by Will Maclellan at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys.[15] The song is a melancholic guitar-led folk ballad,[16][17][18] featuring understated cello and violin.[19][20] Written by Swift, the track is about anxiety over romance and growing up.[16][21][18] In the chorus, Swift sings, "How can a person know everything at 18 but nothing at 22?" reflecting on her growing up, and "Will you still want me when I'm nothing new?"[22] In the views of Olivia Horn from Pitchfork, "Nothing New" is not only about romantic anxieties, but also about "the music business' famously fickle relationship to young women".[18] Laura Snapes from The Guardian agreed with this idea, citing the lyric "People love an ingenue" as Swift's internalized pressure to stay in the public eye.[23] In a journal entry dated March 2, 2012, Swift wrote that the song is about "being scared of aging and things changing and losing what you have".[b]

Reception[edit]

"Nothing New" was lauded by music critics. Horn,[18] Snapes,[23] and Bobby Olivier of Spin deemed the track one of the album's highlights, noting the thoughtful lyrics and Swift's double entendre message about the music industry.[22] In The New York Times, Lindsay Zoladz praised Bridgers's guest appearance and the songwriting, deeming it one of the best "from the Vault" tracks.[19] Angie Martoccio of Rolling Stone lauded the track's production: "Swift's adult voice combines with Bridgers' honey-soaked, hushed vocals, melding together in an autumn rush that brushes against your cheek."[21]

The A.V. Club editor Saloni Gajjar picked "Nothing New" as the "most magnetic" among the unreleased tracks, highlighting its double-meaning message.[24] Jason Lipshutz of Billboard complimented Bridgers's appearance and the lyrics.[20] In Variety, Chris Willman gave the track a five-out-of-five rating, praising Bridgers's vocals and Swift's thoughtful songwriting.[25] The New Yorker's Carrie Battan compared "Nothing New" to the "folksy poeticism" of Swift's 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore.[26] In the Los Angeles Times, Mikael Wood deemed it the best "from the Vault" track, highlighting its double entendre lyrics and nostalgic sentiments during the age of internet culture.[27]

After Red (Taylor's Version) was released, "Nothing New" debuted at number 43 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart dated November 27, 2021.[28] It peaked at number 11 on the Hot Country Songs chart.[29] The track reached the top 40 on singles charts of Australia (31),[30] Canada (22),[31] and Ireland (25).[32] On the Global 200 chart compiled by Billboard, "Nothing New" peaked at number 33.[33]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Red (Taylor's Version) album liner notes[15]

  • Taylor Swift – lead vocals, songwriter, producer
  • Phoebe Bridgers – lead vocals
  • Aaron Dessner – producer, recording engineer, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, guitar, keyboard, piano, synthesizers
  • Tony Berg – vocal producer
  • Bella Blasko – recording engineer
  • Bryce Dessner – orchestrator
  • Clarice Jensen – cello, cello recording
  • Jonathan Low – recording engineer, mixer
  • Christopher Rowe – vocal recording
  • Will Maclellan – vocal recording
  • Kyle Resnick – violin recording
  • Yuki Numata Resnick – violin

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for "Nothing New"
Chart (2021) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[30] 31
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[31] 22
Global 200 (Billboard)[33] 33
Ireland (IRMA)[32] 25
Portugal (AFP)[34] 158
UK Streaming (OCC)[35] 44
US Billboard Hot 100[36] 43
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[29] 11

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Subtitled "(Taylor's Version) (from the Vault)"
  2. ^ The journal entry was published in the deluxe edition booklet of Swift's 2019 album Lover.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eells, Josh (September 8, 2014). "Cover Story: The Reinvention of Taylor Swift". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 16, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  2. ^ McNutt 2020, p. 77.
  3. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 22, 2020. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  4. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (June 18, 2021). "Taylor Swift Announces 'Red' As Next Re-Recorded Album, November Release Date". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 19, 2021. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  5. ^ Willman, Chris (August 27, 2018). "Taylor Swift Stands to Make Music Business History as a Free Agent". Variety. Archived from the original on August 29, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  6. ^ Grady, Constance (July 1, 2019). "The Taylor Swift/Scooter Braun controversy, explained". Vox. Archived from the original on February 11, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  7. ^ "Taylor Swift wants to re-record her old hits after ownership row". BBC News. August 22, 2019. Archived from the original on August 22, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  8. ^ Aswad, Jem (August 22, 2019). "Taylor Swift Performs on GMA, Talks Re-Recording Big Machine Songs (Watch)". Variety. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  9. ^ Mamo, Heran (April 6, 2021). "Everything We Know About Fearless (Taylor's Version) So Far". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  10. ^ Al-Heeti, Abrar (November 11, 2021). "Red (Taylor's Version): Release date, tracklist, why Taylor Swift is rerecording her albums". CNET. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  11. ^ Brown, Helen (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift's Red is a better, brighter version of a terrific pop album". The Independent. Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c Swift, Taylor (August 23, 2019). Lover Deluxe (Media notes) (2nd ed.).
  13. ^ Skinner, Tom (November 13, 2021). "Taylor Swift recalls texting Phoebe Bridgers to ask her to collaborate". NME. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  14. ^ Feeney, Nolan (November 10, 2021). "Phoebe Bridgers 'Got Teary' Recording Her Part on Taylor Swift's Red (Taylor's Version)". Billboard. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  15. ^ a b c Red (Taylor's Version) (digital media liner notes). Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift / Republic Records. 2021.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  16. ^ a b Okon, Wongo (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift And Phoebe Bridgers Team Up For The Emotional 'Nothing New'". Uproxx. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  17. ^ Kaplan, Ilana (November 15, 2021). "Taylor Swift's Red Rerelease Proves What Fans Always Knew". Slate. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  18. ^ a b c d Horn, Olivia (November 15, 2021). "Taylor Swift: Red (Taylor's Version) Album Review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Zoladz, Lindsay (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers's Red Duet, and 14 More New Song". The New York Times. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  20. ^ a b Lipshutz, Jason (November 12, 2021). "Every 'From The Vault' Song Ranked on Taylor Swift's Red (Taylor's Version): Critic's Picks". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Martoccio, Angie (November 12, 2021). "Congratulations, Indie Fans: We Finally Manifested a Taylor Swift/Phoebe Bridgers Duet". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Remakes Heartbreak Odyssey with Red (Taylor's Version)". Spin. November 12, 2021. Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  23. ^ a b Snapes, Laura (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift: Red (Taylor's Version) review – getting back together with a classic". The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  24. ^ Gajjar, Saloni (November 15, 2021). "Album Review: Red (Taylor's Version) Is An Epic Time Machine". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  25. ^ Willman, Chris (November 11, 2021). "On Red (Taylor's Version), Taylor Swift's Vault Tracks Are All Too Swell: Album Review". Variety. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  26. ^ Battan, Carrie (November 17, 2021). "Taylor Swift's Quest for Justice". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  27. ^ Wood, Mikael (December 17, 2021). "How Taylor Swift reclaimed 2012 to win 2021". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  28. ^ Zellner, Xander (November 22, 2021). "Taylor Swift Charts 26 Songs From Red (Taylor's Version) on Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  29. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  30. ^ a b "Taylor Swift feat. Phoebe Bridgers – Nothing New". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  31. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  32. ^ a b "Official Irish Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 26, 2021.
  33. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  34. ^ "Taylor Swift feat. Phoebe Bridgers – Nothing New". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  35. ^ "Official Audio Streaming Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  36. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.

Journal[edit]