Taylor Swift
PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 23: Singer Taylor Swift is seen on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Mat Hayward/GC Images)

Taylor Swift has revealed lots of secrets about her new music video “Cardigan” as part of VEVO’s latest video series titled Footnotes.

The track and music visual, a collaboration with musician Aaron Dessner and the first official video from Swift’s eighth studio album Folklore, was written and filmed during isolation. The video plays out Swift’s interpretation of the demise of a relationship. It sees her go from an enchanting forest fit for fairies to her clinging to her wooden piano in the middle of a stormy ocean like a modern-day Rose Dawson. She explained to VEVO that she was inspired by the feeling of isolation and how that can be either freeing or terrifying.

As is usual for Swift, everything about “Cardigan” is a visual oasis, drawing on period and fantasy films that the 30-year-old was watching during quarantine. She worked on the music video with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto and left no detail spared, sending Prieto visual references for each scene. Never one to do things by halves (and not letting COVID-19 stop her), Swift even did her own hair and makeup and wore her own nightgown for the video.

When it comes to Easter eggs, “Cardigan” is no exception. From the picture of her grandfather to the hands on the clock next to the piano pointing to 1 and 3 (13 being Swift’s favourite number), there’s clues everywhere. There is also a picture of a white house above the piano that Swift confesses to painting herself in the first week of quarantine.

Just like previous songs, the release of “Cardigan” was so top secret, Swift wore an earpiece while filming to prevent the song playing out loud. She even had the effects department add the word “Folklore” to the piano the day of the video’s release.

Words by Chloé Watts.