A new synth-laden Taylor Swift song, “Sweeter Than Fiction,” has surfaced online. The track is slated to appear as the closing credits music in the movie One Chance, which tells the story of Paul Potts, the British tenor who won Britain’s Got Talent with a Puccini aria in 2007.
Swift’s tune, however, is hardly opera. Instead, the track recalls the hallmarks of New Wave: sublime and serene keyboards, densely dreamy guitars (ostensibly played by the song’s cowriter Jack Antonoff of the group fun.) and a gently upbeat drum-machine rhythm. It’s a sound that recalls Simple Minds or even the Cranberries at their dream-poppiest, but with the confidence of Swift’s vocals. Throughout the song, she sings from the perspective of a woman who has always believed in her friend. “Then you’ll stand 10 feet tall,” she sings before the chorus. “I will say, ‘I knew it all along.'” And then she caps it off, “This life is sweeter than fiction.”
It’s an optimistic sound that doesn’t quite jive with her recent quotes about her songwriting process, in which she said she asks herself, “What if we made it weirder? What if we took it darker?” But its unabashed poppiness does fit with her hopes to change her sound with a “sonic backdrop I’ve never explored before.”
Swift is currently writing the follow-up to her quadruple-platinum album, Red. When an Associated Press reporter recently asked her if she sees herself as a pop star in the mold of Madonna, she replied, “I would never see myself that way. I see myself as kind of this girl who writes songs in her bedroom.”