Watch Taylor Swift's Video For 'ME!' Featuring Brendon Urie

Apr 26, 2019
Originally published on April 27, 2019 5:14 pm
Taylor Swift - "ME!" (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco)
YouTube

Updated April 26 at 4:25 p.m. ET

With a few stylized Instagram posts earlier this year, Taylor Swift sparked speculation that a new album was on the horizon. A string of images shared across social media with the date 4.26 followed, and on Thursday, sleuthing Swifties were treated to an appearance from Taylor herself in front of a butterfly mural Swift secretly commissioned from Kelsey Montague.

An interview with ABC's Robin Roberts at the NFL Draft in Nashville confirmed that new music was imminent and, at midnight, Swift released both a new song, "ME!" featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, and an accompanying video, directed by Dave Meyers and Swift herself.

"ME!" follows 2017's reputation; on that record, Swift wrestled with her place in the pop landscape, oscillating between victim and villain, applying the textures of EDM and hip-hop to lyrics that were characteristically diaristic.

As of late, Swift's turned her attention to the political. Back in October, she made her first outright political statement on social media (apart from a noncommittal, nonpartisan "Today is the day. Go out and VOTE." post on the day of the 2016 presidential election, which has since been deleted), voicing her support for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, who was ultimately defeated by Marsha Blackburn. In the same Instagram post, she also endorsed Democratic candidate Jim Cooper in his race to represent Tennessee's 5th District in the House. During the run-up to Election Day, Swift continued to encourage voter turnout, sharing posts from fans at the polls on the Instagram Stories feature.

Compared to reputation's reptilian rollout — will the snake emoji ever be the same? — the ramp-up to Swift's next era has been marked by a pastel palette, complete with a custom Instagram filter.

"'ME!' is a song about embracing your individuality and really celebrating it and owning it," Swift told Roberts.

The video, with cotton candy-colored pantsuits and marching band attire, is a whimsical affair in contrast to the darker shades Swift preferred in promotional materials for her last record. It seems that the stark, performatively goth Taylor may be dead after all?

: 4/26/19

A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Marsha Blackburn as Martha Blackburn.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In 2017, it sounded like Taylor Swift was kind of in a mood.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I DID SOMETHING BAD")

TAYLOR SWIFT: (Singing) They say I did something bad. Then why does it feel so good? They say I did something bad.

MARTIN: In her music videos, she wore black latex, black lipstick. And there were snakes. But things have changed. Yesterday, Taylor Swift dropped a new song and video - "ME!" That's capital M, capital E, exclamation point - "ME!" And Lyndsey McKenna of NPR Music has more.

LYNDSEY MCKENNA, BYLINE: The video begins with a snake bursting and becoming a butterfly. It slithers across the screen. And then it becomes this group of butterflies soaring.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ME!")

SWIFT: (Singing) I promise that you'll never find another like me. I know that I'm a handful, baby. You know I never think before I talk. And you're the kind of guy that ladies want.

MCKENNA: There's all these magical, surrealist elements. You've got big, puffy pink dresses that sort of become waterfalls. There are kittens everywhere, of course. Everything looks like it's sort of out of a storybook.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ME!")

SWIFT: (Singing) I promise that you'll never find another like me (vocalizing).

MCKENNA: You know, she's about to turn 30, but it kind of feels like she's embracing this more childlike sense of her past. There's a sense that maybe that this is a course correction or that this is sort of a turn back away from that villainy of reputation.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ME!")

BRENDON URIE: (Singing) Hey, kids.

SWIFT: (Singing) Spelling is fun.

URIE: (Singing) Girl, there ain't no I in team.

SWIFT: (Singing) But you know there is a me.

URIE: (Singing) Strike a...

MCKENNA: This can almost feel a little bit regressive. The bridge, it's got this line - hey, kid spelling is fun. For someone who got a lot of acclaim for her songwriting, it's sort of an outlier. You know, this will be her seventh record, if she announces it. I think people are really wondering what's next.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ME!")

SWIFT: (Singing) And I promise that nobody's going to love you like me.

MARTIN: That's Lyndsey McKenna of NPR Music talking about Taylor Swift's new song, "ME!" Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tags: