Using behind-the-scenes footage from the Folklore cover shoot, the clip features Swift sauntering through fields, leaning against trees and sitting on a swing. The alternate version doesn’t contain the full instrumentation of the studio version, isolating Swift’s shimmering vocals: “Sequin smile, black lipstick/Sensual politics/When you are young, they assume you know nothing.”
The “Cabin in Candlelight” version of “Cardigan” is available as a 12-inch single pressed on white vinyl, on sale for only for 24 hours.
“Cardigan” was co-written by the National’s Aaaron Dessner, who worked on several of the songs off Folklore. “I just sent her a folder of things I’d done recently and was excited about,” Dessner recently told Rolling Stone. “Hours after, she sent back a fully written version of ‘Cardigan.’ It was like a lightning bolt struck the house.”
“She just dove into it and embraced this emotional current,” Dessner added. “And I hope that’s what people take out of it: The humanity in her writing and melodies. It’s a different side to her. She could have been every bit as successful just making these kinds of songs, but it’s so great that she’s also made everything that she’s ever made, and this is a really interesting shift, and an emotional one.”