This Is Me Trying

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"This Is Me Trying"
Song by Taylor Swift
from the album Folklore
Recorded2020
StudioLong Pond (Hudson Valley)
Genre
Length3:16
LabelRepublic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Lyric video
"This Is Me Trying" on YouTube

"This Is Me Trying" (stylized in all lowercase) is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It is taken from her eighth studio album Folklore (2020), which was released on July 24, 2020, via Republic Records. Swift and Jack Antonoff wrote the song, which was also produced by them along with Joe Alwyn.

The ninth track on the album, "This Is Me Trying" is a meditative dream pop and orchestral pop song supported by an organ, slow-paced beats and horns. Its lyrics address themes of regret, accountability, low self esteem, alcoholism and existential crisis. Upon the release of Folklore, "This Is Me Trying" was met with positive reviews from music critics; praise centered on Swift's vocals and the song's portrayal of mental health, addiction, and emotional vulnerability.

Commercially, the song debuted at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 13 on the Rolling Stone Top 100 following Folklore's release, alongside the other 15 tracks on the album. It landed at number 9 on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart and reached the top 20 in Australia and Singapore, and charted inside the top 40 in Canada.

Background and release[edit]

I think I was writing from three different characters' perspectives, one who's going through that; I was channeling the emotions I was feeling in 2016, 2017, where I just felt like I was worth absolutely nothing. And then, the second verse is about dealing with addiction and issues with struggling every day. And every second of the day, you're trying not to fall into old patterns, and nobody around you can see that, and no one gives you credit for it.

— Swift's on "This Is Me Trying", Entertainment Weekly[1]

Taylor Swift surprise-released her eighth studio album, Folklore, on July 24, 2020, through Republic Records.[2] The album eschews the upbeat pop production of Swift's previous releases and adapts indie folk and alternative styles, brought about by collaborations with Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff.[3][4] Swift also brought along Joe Alwyn to help produce the album, which he did along with Swift and Antonoff on "This Is Me Trying", the ninth track of Folklore. In the primer that preceded the release, Swift teased imageries of various tracks, with "This Is Me Trying" being about "a whiskey bottle beckoning."[5]

Composition[edit]

Swift has stated that "This Is Me Trying" was inspired by multiple narratives, such as her state of mind in 2016–2017 when she "felt like [she] was worth absolutely nothing", as well as themes of addiction[1] and existential crisis.[6] In the documentary concert film Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, Swift affirmed that the song touches on alcoholism.[7]

"This Is Me Trying" is an orchestral pop[8] and dream pop[9] song that documents the accountability and regret of an alcoholic narrator who admits feeling that they are not enough.[10] It is instrumented mostly by a "yawning" organ,[11] subtle horns,[12] percussions, strings and a saxophone. Swift's vocal range in the song spans between D3 to C5.[13] The song is written in the key of A major and has a moderately slow tempo of 136 beats per minute.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Alexandrea Lang from the Dallas Observer named "This Is Me Trying" as one of the "most profound and underrated" songs on Folklore, as well as praising Swift's "gorgeous, breathy vocals" and the "flawless" capture of emotions of someone struggling with motivation and mental illness.[15] Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield said that the track is "the disturbingly witty tale of someone pouring her heart out, to keep herself from pouring more whiskey."[16] Regarding the song's metaphor set around curve and sphere, Sheffield commented: "what a math flex"; "Taylor could have invented geometry, but Euclid couldn't have written this song."[17]

Rob Harvilla of The Ringer called the song one of the album's "most luscious and intense songs", soaked in regret, failure and booze, "as luminous as it is dolorous". He praised Swift's "sharp and specific" writing and the "gauzy lusciousness" of Antonoff's production.[18] New Statesman critic Anna Leszkiewicz defined "This Is Me Trying" as an "expansive, atmospheric portrait" of someone opting vulnerability over "defense mechanisms" in a relationship.[19] Despite viewing the song less favorably, Eric Mason, writing for Slant Magazine, praised Swift's vulnerability in the song, stating that she was "mining both her vulnerability and her ability to do harm" on the track.[20]

Commercial performance[edit]

Upon Folklore's release, "This Is Me Trying" debuted at number 9 on the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, and at number 39 on the all-genre Hot 100 as one of the album's 10 tracks to chart inside the top 40.[21] It further reached number 15 on the Singapore Singles chart, number 18 on Australia's ARIA Singles Chart, and number 30 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[22]

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Suskind, Alex. "Taylor Swift broke all her rules with Folklore — and gave herself a much-needed escape". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on March 12, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  2. ^ Fekadu, Mesfin (August 3, 2020). "Lucky No.7: Taylor Swift nabs 7th No.1 album with 'folklore'". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  3. ^ Gerber, Brady (July 27, 2020). "The Story Behind Every Song on Taylor Swift's folklore". Vulture. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  4. ^ Grein, Paul (August 4, 2020). "Will the Grammys Classify Taylor Swift's 'Folklore' as Pop or Alternative?". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  5. ^ "'It Started With Imagery': Read Taylor Swift's Primer For 'Folklore'". Billboard. July 24, 2020. Archived from the original on July 24, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  6. ^ Huff, Lauren. "Taylor Swift unveils William Bowery's identity, and more revelations from 'Folklore' concert film". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  7. ^ Carson, Sarah (November 26, 2020). "On folklore: the long pond sessions, Taylor Swift wants us to stop reading between the lines". i. Archived from the original on March 18, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  8. ^ Wood, Mikael (July 26, 2020). "Taylor Swift's 'Folklore': All 16 songs, ranked". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  9. ^ Wohlmacher, John (July 27, 2020). "ALBUM REVIEW: TAYLOR SWIFT – FOLKLORE". Beats Per Minute. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  10. ^ Ahlgrim, Callie. "Every detail and Easter egg you may have missed on Taylor Swift's new album 'Folklore'". Insider. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Taylor Swift's 'Folklore': There's Nothing Quiet About This Songwriting Tour De Force". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  12. ^ Gutowitz, Jill (2020-07-24). "What Is Every Song on Taylor Swift's Folklore Actually About?". Vulture. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  13. ^ "Taylor Swift "this is me trying" Sheet Music in D major". Musicnotes.com. July 24, 2020. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  14. ^ "Key & BPM for the "this is me trying" by Taylor Swift". TuneBat. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  15. ^ Lang, Alexandra (August 6, 2020). "The Songs from Taylor Swift's folklore, Ranked". Dallas Observer. Archived from the original on March 28, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  16. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2020-07-24). "Taylor Swift Leaves Her Comfort Zones Behind on the Head-Spinning, Heartbreaking 'Folklore'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  17. ^ Sheffield, Rob. ""This Is Me Trying" (2020)". Rolling Stone Australia. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  18. ^ Harvilla, Rob (June 27, 2021). "Taylor Swift Is Singing About More Than Taylor Swift—and Rediscovering Herself in the Process". The Ringer. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  19. ^ Leiszkiewicz, Anna. "Folklore reveals a more introspective side to Taylor Swift". New Statesman. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  20. ^ Mason, Eric (September 12, 2020). "Every Song on Taylor Swift's Folklore Ranked". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on January 29, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  21. ^ "Taylor Swift — Billboard Hot 100 History". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  22. ^ Folklore (booklet). Taylor Swift. Republic Records. 2020. B003271102.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  23. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Taylor Swift – This Is Me Trying". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  24. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  25. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Taylor Swift – This Is Me Trying". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  26. ^ "RIAS International Top Charts Week 31". Recording Industry Association (Singapore). Archived from the original on August 5, 2020.
  27. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  28. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  29. ^ "Top 100 Songs, July 24, 2020 - July 30, 2020". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  30. ^ "Hot Rock & Alternative Songs – Year-End 2020". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 11, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2021.