No one wants to be the guy who rags on a mainstream pop artist for being an icon for the masses. This is especially true when we see these young talents progress through a phase of brief introspection and self-actualisation as they attempt to transform into a critically approachable artist. With that in mind, Taylor Swift’s latest single, clearly inspired by Boredoms and John Cage, is a glimmer of the genius within.
Her new album 1989 drops in a couple of days and thanks to an iTunes ‘glitch’, Track 3 appeared on the store for $1.29. The 8-second long track was nothing but white noise (or an ocean, according to one fan) which is a significant departure from her standard sound.
While we’ve got Miley busy transforming into a Jeremy Scott X Takashi Murakami living installation and Lady Gaga desperately stamping ART on every visible region of her releases, Taylor Swift has gone for the approach of fleeting subversion. ‘Accidental’ leaks are nothing new, like when Trent Reznor hid USBs behind the u-bend of venue toilets, but Swift is making a fresher statement on the conditional impermanence of ethereal formats by screwing with the iTunes music store. Needless to say, it’s already reached #1 on the Canada iTunes chart (really). We tried finding a cut of it for you, but the virtual pressing was extremely limited. Swift really knows how to play the art value game.
It’s unclear if the entire album is going to be an open art project or if this is merely a tangential statement. That said, if you take Swift’s total number of albums (5), divide it by the length of Track 3 (8 seconds), multiply the result by that track length again and then subtract the result from the name of her upcoming album (1989), you get 1984. That’s right, the title of George Orwell’s novel about a bleak, dystopian future. Nice try, Taylor Swift illuminati.
1989 comes out on October 27 which we’re guessing is another impossibly cryptic message. More to come as the ACCLAIM scientists decode it.
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