Friday, July 29th, 2022

Taylor Swift – Carolina

Our second-favourite Swift soundtrack single, after the one about Paul Potts


Kayla Beardslee: A nice, eerie entry into the Folklore section of her discography. Taylor has never been a better or more dynamic vocalist than she is right now.

Harlan Talib Ockey: Swift’s vocal performance is exceptional; she brilliantly conveys the solitude inherent in the lyrics, and her low notes are incredibly poignant. The lyrics are largely effective. It’s not technically personification, but there’s still a pervasive undertone of nature as a sentient force. However, I don’t love how often “you didn’t see me here” is repeated, especially given how barren in imagery it is compared to the rest of the song. Finally, anything that resembles the hushed, understated guitar of Hiss Golden Messenger’s Bad Debt is very much appreciated.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Sleepy tunes for Evermore apologists. 

Alfred Soto: Growing in confidence with each pass at folk, Taylor Swift and Aaron Dessner assemble a suitably haunted movie theme. No doubt its breathy chill reflects the precision of its makers even if Swift sounds rather genteel: she doesn’t sound haunted so much as a singer-songwriter enraptured by the Emmylou Harris vinyl she’s discovered.

Thomas Inskeep: Wow, this is impressively high (low country) gothic, akin to Emmylou Harris in the ’90s, or Dolly Parton’s early ’70s murder ballads. Chilling in the best way, pushing the sound of Folklore and Evermore further out naturally, and precisely what I want more of from Swift. Does this mean that Aaron Dessner is her Daniel Lanois? Chew on that.

Andrew Karpan: Drawing at its own measured pace, Swift’s voice here feels like a ghostly hush creaking out of the floorboards of the indie-folk aesthetic she’s been building with Aaron Dessner for some time. While it appears on a soundtrack loosie and is largely contained to communicating the accumulated resentments that populate Delia Owens’ publishing-phenomenon-turned-minor-hit-movie, Swift’s commitment to the Mumford & Sons cosplay of it all is enough to make the moment feel strangely definitive. Most prominent is the sound of a fiddle, its thin needles of sound decorating the song with a stirring, if not quite authentic energy. But if the song tried any harder, you wouldn’t be able to hear Swift at all. 

Reader average: [7.5] (2 votes)

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One Response to “Taylor Swift – Carolina”

  1. Damn, if that don’t indicate the change in the zeitgeist, that this doesn’t have 20 blurbs of 20 lines minimum each.