Taylor Swift Says The Closest She’s Come To Having Synesthesia Is Hearing Aaron Dessner’s Instrumentals

Much has been made of the musical partnership between Taylor Swift and Aaron Dessner, as the two (along with Jack Antonoff) made a pair of beloved albums, Folklore and Evermore, together. Dessner and Swift have traded praise back and forth in various interviews since then, and now Swift has offered even more compliments about Dessner.

The Big Red Machine and National member is the subject of a new New York Times profile, and for it, Swift shared some thoughts about her collaborator via email. Most notably, she had effusive praise for Dessner, saying that hearing his instrumentals is the closest she’s come to synesthesia.

For those who don’t know, Healthline defines synesthesia as “a neurological condition in which information meant to stimulate one of your senses stimulates several of your senses.” To put it more simply, some people associate certain colors with certain sounds and make other connections of that nature.

Swift said:

“The quality that really confounded me about Aaron’s instrumental tracks is that to me, they were immediately, intensely visual. As soon as I heard the first one, I understood why he calls them ‘sketches.’ The first time I heard the track for ‘Cardigan,’ I saw high heels on cobblestones. I knew it had to be about teenage miscommunications and the loss of what could’ve been. I’ve always been so curious about people with synesthesia, who see colors or shapes when they hear music. The closest thing I’ve ever experienced is seeing an entire story or scene play out in my head when I hear Aaron Dessner’s instrumental tracks.”

She had more to say about Dessner, like attesting that he’s big on community, saying, “Establishing and contributing to a musical community matters so much to Aaron. He’s technically in the music ‘industry,’ but really all he wants to do is play and make music with his friends.”

Read the full feature here.