Don’t call Taylor Swift. And we don’t mean maybe. The country-pop singer and songwriter’s new single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” out now digitally and unveiled yesterday during an online video chat, is swaying, cheeky, hyper-melodic pop that recalls the ear-sticking effervescence of a certain Carly Rae Jepsen smash. Only Swift’s track is based around acoustic guitar strums rather than string sounds, and the theme is pure, fiery, woman-scorned Swift, atop a stomping beat that’s the closest the now-22-year-old has come to dance-pop and R&B she might’ve heard on the radio growing up (TLC’s “No Scrubs” seems apt more than lyrically).
As pop culture writer Mike Barthel points out, the tune also takes aim at an unexpected target: Turns out the unwanted ex is an indie snob. “Hide away and find your peace of mind / With some indie record that’s much cooler than mine,” Swift sneers on one verse. Rolling Stone suggests the target might be John Mayer, who recently made the mistake of telling an interviewer he felt “humiliated” by brutal kiss-off “Dear John,” from Swift’s 2010 album Speak Now. But Passion Pit aside, the Born and Raised crooner tends more often to rave about, well, pop singers like Swift herself, or fellow Nashvilleans Paramore, or Miley Cyrus. (Obligatory acknowledgement of Mayer’s Katy Perry rumors here.) Nope, indie kids: Swift just pulled a Pavement-dissing-Smashing Pumpkins in reverse. Ouch.
With wonderfully goofy spoken-word asides, “Never Ever” epitomizes what Swift said about her upcoming album, Red, which she revealed is due out October 22. “There’s nothing beige about this record,” she revealed of the 16-track release. As the Hollywood Reporter notes, Swift also said the album will include a collaboration with U.K. singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who just covered Pink Floyd at the Olympics closing ceremony.
Of “Never Ever,” Swift quipped: “This is a really, really romantic song. It’s really touching and sensitive … to my lovely ex-boyfriend.” Which ex? Asked separately by a fan about her tendency of targeting former lovers in song, Swift said, “I’m trying not to be too cryptic about it, but I’m trying also not to give it away.” Regarding her last album, she said that “people pretty much figured everything out.”