Yesterday, Taylor Swift shared the original voice memo of Folklore highlight “Cardigan,” which Swift sent to collaborator Aaron Dessner (of The National) back in April. To celebrate that, Dessner pulled the curtain back even further by sharing the text conversation where Swift sent him the voice memo.
Posting the screenshot, Dessner wrote, “Looking back at @taylorswift13’s text with her original voice memo of Cardigan…still surreal.” In the text, Swift writes, presumably in response to Dessner sending her instrumentals, “Oh my god I’m already writing over one of them.” She adds, “This is so exciting I’m freaking out.” Dessner responded with three exclamation marks and a smiling emoji.
The limited edition “cardigan” single collection is available now, which has the original voice memo I sent Aaron for the song on April 27, 2020 (alternate lyrics included.) The song + voice memo are available on 7” & 12” vinyl editions and CD through 7/30 https://t.co/zSHpnhUlLb pic.twitter.com/uPiK0cZP4i
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 28, 2020
Looking back at @taylorswift13 's text with her original voice memo of Cardigan…still surreal…a special edition of the song with the voice memo (which has alternate lyrics) is available thru Thurs. 7/30 only on her web site and iTunes pic.twitter.com/vr5qgUS8de
— Aaron Dessner (@aaron_dessner) July 28, 2020
Dessner previously noted in a recent interview, “I sent [the file] at 9 p.m., and around 2 a.m. or something, there was ‘cardigan,’ fully written. That’s when I realized something crazy was happening. […] I think we both realized that this was a bit of a lightning rod for a lot of the rest of the record.”
Indeed, Swift’s response arrived on Dessner’s phone at 2:23 a.m. on April 28: She shared an audio file of “an idea,” as she described it, and wrote the lyrics. The song really did seem to arrive at a near-finished state quickly, as the lyrics she shared along with the audio are the same ones that are on the final version of the song.
Read our review of Folklore here.
Folklore is out now via Republic. Get it here.