Taylor Swift blasts Damon Albarn for claiming she doesn't write her songs: 'Completely false and SO damaging'

·Editor in Chief, Yahoo Music
·4 min read

Blur frontman Damon Albarn has worked with everyone from Snoop Dogg to the Cure’s Robert Smith in his animated band Gorillaz, but suffice to say he won’t be working with Taylor Swift any time soon. Swift has taken to Twitter to blast Albarn, after the Britpop icon said that Swift, a three-time Album of the Year Grammy-winner, “doesn’t write her own songs.” Albarn later apologized to Swift, claiming an offhand remark was "reduced to clickbait" by the Los Angeles Times' Twitter account.

In an L.A. Times Q&A titled “For Damon Albarn, modern life is still pretty much rubbish” (a play on the title of Blur’s 1993 sophomore album), the 53-year-old Albarn was promoting his Jan. 24 performance of his new orchestral solo album, The Nearer the Mountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, at Downtown Los Angeles’s Disney Hall. Discussing how musicians “can’t hide behind anything” when playing only piano, he criticized most current recording artists for relying mainly on “sound and attitude.” When L.A. Times interviewer Mikael Wood then cited Swift as a modern example of an “excellent songwriter,” Albarn balked.

Wood then clarified that Swift co-writes many of her hits, to which self-described “traditionalist” Albarn retorted, “That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes.”

Albarn went on to praise the “exceptional” Billie Eilish and her brother/collaborator Finneas as “really interesting” songwriters (“It’s just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd”), and pointed out that some of the all-time greatest singers, like Ella Fitzgerald, actually “never wrote a song in [their] life.” But his anti-Swift comments quickly went viral — and Swift took notice and counter-attacked.

“@Damonalbarn 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 f***ed up to try and discredit my writing. WOW,” Swift posted Monday afternoon.

"PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering," she added sarcastically.

Producer and fun./Bleachers musician Jack Antonoff — who worked on Swift's recent albums Reputation, Lover, Folklore, and Evermore, and has also collaborated with Lana Del Rey, Lorde, and St. Vincent — jumped in to defend his friend, tweeting, "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." He also suggested that Albarn "shut the f***k up."

Albarn later responded to Swift furious tweet, saying, "I totally agree with you. i had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait. I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand."

Albarn, who is currently in Los Angeles working on a Gorillaz film project for Netflix, released The Nearer the Mountain, More Pure the Stream Flows last November. Swift’s latest release is the “Taylor’s Version” re-recording of her 2012 album Red — on which she has writing credit for all 16 tracks, and sole credit on nine of those tracks.

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