Damon Albarn addresses Taylor Swift controversy during LA show

The Blur frontman said he's been "cast into the social media abyss"

Trending Now

Damon Albarn addressed the backlash over his controversial comments about Taylor Swift while performing in Los Angeles Monday night.

The Blur and Gorillaz frontman was playing a show at Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall on January 24 in support of his most recent solo album, The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows.

Ahead of the concert, Albarn participated in an interview with the LA Times where he explained that Swift’s “co-writing” approach was at odds with his “traditionalist” view of songwriting.


When journalist Mikael Wood put it to him that Swift was “an excellent songwriter”, Albarn responded: “She doesn’t write her own songs.” He went on to say that co-writing “doesn’t count”.

Swift later hit back at the musician, tweeting: “@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this.

“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.”

Albarn then apologised “unreservedly and unconditionally” to Swift, claiming that his words had been “reduced to clickbait”. He said: “The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand.”

Swift’s fans, collaborators and her fellow musicians have since expressed their support for the star on social media.


Her longtime producer Jack Antonoff told Albarn to “shut the fuck up”, while Aaron Dessner – who worked alongside Antonoff on last year’s Folklore and Evermore – said Albarn was “obviously completely clueless as to her actual writing and work process”.

In a review of Albarn’s LA gig Monday night, LA Times wrote that that singer-songwriter took a moment to reflect on the frenzy ahead of playing his final track – a new rendition of Blur’s hit single “Song 2”.

He told the crowd that the LA Times‘ Mikael Wood had requested he played the classic “before he cast me into the social media abyss” with the interview in question. “You can judge for yourself,” he said, adding: “I think I’m becoming old fashioned.”

You can watch the airing of “Song 2” from the show in the video above.

After dismissing Swift’s approach, Albarn told the LA Times that he’s “more attracted to” the “darker” songwriting of Billie Eilish and Finneas, which he said was “less endlessly upbeat”.

“Way more minor and odd,” he continued. “I think [Eilish is] exceptional.”

Originally published on NME

Latest Issue