“Swifties” find timelessness in her music
By Gio Battaglia
For as long as she can remember, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) sophomore Kayla Krurnowski has been a Taylor Swift fan; a “Swiftie” . Even though she couldn’t relate to her lyrics, she knew Taylor had something special.
“I became a fan when ‘Teardrops on My Guitar’ came out,” Krurnowski said. “I was like 6 at the time. Then I heard ‘Our Song’ and I remember making a music video with my cousins, and that’s when I became a Swiftie.”
Krurnowski has been a dedicated fan for all of Swift’s career. She has seen her multiple times in concert, has bought all her CDs and vinyl and has been able to connect with her family because of Swift’s music.
“My parents love her too,” Krurnowski said. “It’s a family full of Swifties. Love Story is probably going to be the song I dance to at my wedding with my dad.”
Krurnowski says she was excited when Taylor Swift announced her latest album.
On Nov. 12, Swift released Red (Taylor’s Version.) This album is the second re-recording from Swift to reclaim her masters, which were sold to Scooter Braun back in 2019.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own music,” Swift told Seth Meyers in an interview. “I made it very clear that I wanted to be able to buy my own music, that opportunity was not given to me, and it was sold to somebody else. I figured, I’m the person who made this music first, I can just make it again.”
Unlike other artists who have re-recorded their music such as JoJo and Def Leppard, Swift is promoting the album like it’s the first time. She has appeared on late night talk shows, as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and has released new music videos for the album’s singles. She says she is taking advice from her fans on what they wanted to see the first time, and making it happen.
“I’m always listening to their opinions,” Swift told Meyers. “They will let me know which songs should’ve been singles, and which songs didn’t get videos and should’ve gotten videos. I’m doing those things.”
Krunowski says she has been looking forward to Red (Taylor’s Version) and remembers listening to its initial release back in 2012.
“Red has always been my favorite,” Krurnowski said. “I was 10 years old and had never experienced heartbreak in my life but would sob to those songs. I didn’t even know why I was crying. She just gets us for no reason.”
Krurnowski says listening to the album was a new experience and let her think about the music in a new way.
“It’s like listening to it for the first time again, being almost 10 years older than I was when I first heard it,” Krurnowski said. “When I was a kid, I wouldn’t listen to music and process lyrics. It was just Taylor Swift; I just liked her music. But now when I listen to it, I can hear what she is saying. She puts such specific feelings into words.”
Red (Taylor’s Version) contains the 30 tracks that were intended for the 2012 version of Red but were advised to be taken off. One of the tracks, “All Too Well,” has a new version on the album that is ten minutes long, a controversial length, but has earned Swift praise from critics and fans, and is her eighth number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“All Too Well, in my opinion, is the best song she’s ever done,” Krurnowski said. “It’s hard to pick any other song off the album as my favorite.”
The new version has created a new audience for Swift.
“I remember in high school, my art teacher was getting into Taylor Swift,” Krurnowski said. “We would always talk about it, and I would tell him that Red is her best album and he would say ‘No it’s not! folklore and evermore are by far the best. He messaged me the other day and said, ‘I’m going to give it to you, Red is her best album.’ I think people are taking her more seriously now.”
Fans like Krurnowski will continue to be a part of the journey while Swift continues to re-record her original work and are excited for what is next. Krurnowski says that beyond the music, it is inspiring to see Swift stand up for what she believes is right.
“It has been great to see her take a bad thing and make it a good thing,” Krurnowski said.
Red (Taylor’s Version) is available to stream now.