Taylor Swift Goes Goth

The pop star trades in signature goldilocks for blackened bob

It’s official. T-Swift has gone goth. The new tune that hit the radio a week ago, “Black Winged Dagger,” let you know long before her Instagram account did. In the past few days, though, it seems like her social media has caught up: Pictures online will show her fluffy little kittens dyed black, and her own wardrobe has gone from navy high-waist trousers and seer-suckered blouses to ebony lace and black chiffon.

Modified by Max Smith Flickr | David Shankbone

Modified by Max Smith
Flickr | David Shankbone

Goth is more than just a style aesthetic though; it’s a lifestyle requiring dedication to massive amounts of eyeliner and endless supplies of Vitamin D to make up for the sun loss. However, if T-Swift’s personality is, as her Swifties say, nothing if not authentic, then what could have caused her turn to break out the black nail polish? Another review of her single might give us some clues.

Swift’s slight vibrato for “Black Winged Dagger” is almost reminiscent of her and the Civil Wars’ “Safe and Sound,” but pulsing cello chords and chimes playing a funeral dirge set it apart from the melancholic country ballad. While the remixed version by DJ Dead-dyBoy is what’s making this song catch fire in the dance clubs, Swift’s brand power and eager DJ collaborators should be enough to keep her high on the charts when the rest of her upcoming album attempts to hit the airwaves.

Written without a co-author, the lyrics in “Black Winged Dagger” are merely turns of the same old “I’m misunderstood” trope without the metaphorical skill or detailed honesty needed to make them stand out.

As we get to verse two of the song, listeners will probably begin to realize that it may have just been one break up too many that turned Swift to the dark side. By the time you get to the bridge where she croons, “May black butterflies suffocate our nights,” we realize that the music video will inevitably have T-Swift getting hundreds of butterflies to swirl around her during a fog-laden graveyard scene.

However you take T-Swift’s new style, it’s here to stay for at least one album. If (what I’m now dubbing) “Black Butterfly Breakup” is anything to work off of, expect “Black” to seem like a throwback to your angsty teenage days with the odd spark of poetry thrown in.