Aaron Dessner responds to Damon Albarn’s comments on Taylor Swift: “You’re obviously completely clueless”

"As someone who has gotten to press record around her... your statements couldn't be further from the truth"

The National‘s Aaron Dessner, who co-produced Taylor Swift’s 2020 albums ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’, has responded after Damon Albarn suggested that Swift doesn’t write her own songs.

In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, the Blur and Gorillaz frontman said that Swift’s co-writing approach is at odds with his “traditionalist” view on songwriting. After it was suggested to him that Swift is an “excellent songwriter”, he claimed that she doesn’t write her own songs.

“That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing,” Albarn said. “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.”


Earlier today (January 25), Dessner said he was “not sure” why Albarn would attempt “to discredit Taylor’s brilliant songwriting”.

“As someone who has gotten to press record around her… your statements couldn’t be further from the truth,” he continued. “You’re obviously completely clueless as to her actual writing and work process.”

In addition to co-producing ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’, Dessner also co-produced multiple of the bonus “From the Vault” tracks that appear on Swift’s re-recorded versions of ‘Fearless’ and ‘Red’ that arrived last year.

In March, after ‘Folklore’ won a Grammy for Album of the Year, Dessner credited Swift with “restoring [his] faith in music”.


Swift herself responded to Albarn’s comments on Twitter, writing: “I write ALL 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.”

Jack Antonoff, who has collaborated with Swift on all her albums from 2014’s ‘1989’ up to last year’s ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’, also defended the singer-songwriter in response to Albarn’s comments.

“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,” he tweeted. “If you were there…cool…go off. If not…maybe…shut the fuck up?”

Albarn has since apologised to Swift on Twitter, saying that his words had been reduced to “clickbait” in the interview. “I totally agree with you. I had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait,” he said.

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

Albarn was speaking to the publication ahead of his concert tonight (January 24) at Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall. He’s set to play a career-spanning set of songs from his new album and some older material on piano accompanied by a string section.

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