NEW YORK (AFP) – After a bout of social media teasing pop star Taylor Swift made good on a vow to drop new music, releasing early on Friday (April 26) the rainbow-colored video for her latest single, ME!
The chipper track the 29-year-old superstar says celebrates individuality is a sharp departure from her previous album and much harsher lead single and video for Look What You Made Me Do, which went heavy on black and white and saw her grapple with her very public celebrity dramas.
"Me! is a song about embracing your individuality and really celebrating it and owning it,” Swift told ABC late on Thursday, where she made a brief appearance at the National Football League draft.
“With a pop song, we have the ability to get a melody stuck in people’s heads,” she said.
“I just want it to be one that makes them feel better about themselves, not worse.”
The video bathed in pastels – something of a psychedelic mash-up between Mary Poppins and kaleidoscopic 1960s musical The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg – sees Swift engage in relatively banal arguments with a love interest, played by the singer Brendon Urie of Vegas rock band Panic! at the Disco, who also contributes vocals.
After an opening argument that sees the pair fight in French, she begins singing: “I know that I’m a handful, baby, uh/I know I never think before I jump,” before breaking into the self-love chorus: “Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh/I’m the only one of me.”
In the video, featuring cats and a heavy dose of unicorn imagery, Swift memorably shouts out “Spelling is fun!” midway through but proceeds to spell nothing.
Swift has seen a decline in her status in the industry – scoring just one nomination at this year’s Grammys, where pop was largely ignored in favour of hip-hop and country-tinged work – but commercially remains a megastar.
Her last international tour reportedly grossed US$345.7 million (S$470 million) over seven months, after which she released a concert film on Netflix.
She has not yet revealed details of a new album but will appear in a film adaptation of Cats, set for a December release.