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Taylor Swift hits back at Damon Albarn saying she “doesn’t write her songs”

"It's fucked up to try and discredit my writing," Swift responded, with collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner also defending her

By Will Richards

A composite image of Damon Albarn and Taylor Swift
Damon Albarn (Credit: Linda Brownlee) / Taylor Swift (Credit: Beth Garrabrant).

A war of words has emerged overnight between Damon Albarn and Taylor Swift, after Albarn suggested in an interview that Swift “doesn’t write her own songs”.

In a new interview with The Los Angeles Times, Albarn was asked about modern songwriters “relying on sound and attitude,” to which he said: “Name me someone who’s not.”

The interviewer then said: “She may not be to your taste, but Taylor Swift is an excellent songwriter,” to which Albarn simply replied: “She doesn’t write her own songs.”

“Co-writing is very different to writing,” the Blur frontman went on. “I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great.

“And some of the greatest singers — I mean, Ella Fitzgerald never wrote a song in her life. When I sing, I have to close my eyes and just be in there. I suppose I’m a traditionalist in that sense. A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother. I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It’s just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she’s exceptional.”

In response to the article, Swift angrily tweeted at Albarn, writing: “I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs, but it’s really fucked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW.”

In response, Albarn then said that his quotes were “reduced to clickbait” by the publication, and that “I totally agree with you.”

He added: “I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand.”

Following the exchange, many of Swift’s collaborators have defended her and criticised Albarn’s comments. Jack Antonoff, who has worked on the last five Swift albums, tweeted: “i’ve never met damon albarn and he’s never been to my studio but apparently he knows more than the rest of us about all those songs taylor writes and brings in.”

In a further tweet, he added: “if you were there … cool … go off. if not … maybe …. shut the fuck up?”

The National‘s Aaron Dessner, who co-produced Swift’s two 2020 albums, ‘folklore’ and ‘evermore’, also weighed in on Twitter, writing: “Not sure why you [Damon Albarn] would try to discredit Taylor’s brilliant songwriting but as someone who has gotten to press record around her …your statements couldn’t be further from the truth…you’re obviously completely clueless as to her actual writing and work process.”

There has been no further word from either Swift or Albarn after their original tweets.

Swift released ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’, the second album in her re-recording project, last November. Albarn is currently on tour in the US behind his second solo album ‘The Nearer The Mountain, More Pure The Stream Flows’.