During an appearance on Charli XCX‘s Best Song Ever podcast, the “Motion Sickness” singer revealed that she’s been a Swiftie since she was a “failed guitar teacher” in her teenage years. When one of her students asked to learn how to play a Taylor song, Bridgers checked out the 11-time Grammy winner’s catalog and “just started listening all the time.”
“It’s high art,” she said of Swift’s work. “She’s like the king of her craft. She’s just a perfect example of someone who uses all the resources at her disposal to be completely genuine.”
There are more than 200 songs in the Taylor Swift canon, but Bridgers was immediately ready with her answer when asked which is her favorite. Though she said it pretty much changes every day, her current No. 1 is “Betty,” one of three interconnected Folklore songs following a messy teenage love triangle.
“I like when songwriters make you decide what’s so sad about this person,” Bridgers explained. “It’s kind of not the movie version of a love story. You have a crush on someone and then you hook up with someone else because your feelings for them overwhelm you? That’s so f—ing sad. I think it’s genius. And then we kind of don’t really know what happens at the end of it.”
The 27-year-old indie rocker also showed love to one of the saddest tracks from Swift’s 2010 album Speak Now: “Dear John.” She said she once accidentally tricked fans who overheard her band using the seven-minute ballad to soundcheck at one of her concerts into thinking she would be covering it on tour. In reality, she wasn’t even the one singing — it was her drummer, Marshall Vore.
“We have such similar voices, people think it’s me,” Bridgers laughed. “Damn, that song is such a story. It’s like a whole movie.”
Charli also asked the “Kyoto” artist about working with Swift on her Red (Taylor’s Version) project, for which Bridgers lent vocals to a previously unreleased track called “Nothing New.” “I did sh– myself,” she said of receiving the initial introductory text from Swift via Aaron Dessner’s phone, something she first talked about with Billboard in her Women in Music feature story.
“I can’t imagine getting to sing on a cooler project,” she continued. “I connect with that song so much. It’s a masterpiece.”
Swift originally wrote “Nothing New” at 22 years old for her 2012 record Red, but it was later scrapped from the final product. It parallels Bridgers’ own story of being a young, up-and-coming woman feeling like your time is limited in the music industry; her debut album Stranger in the Alps came out when she was just 22, which she worried at the time was too old.
“The fear that you have when you’re a young woman in music is unmatched,” Bridgers told Charli. “I think I definitely fetishized my own youth. I was like, ‘Maybe I can’t be the best songwriter in the world, but if they always say how young I am, then they’re going to be really impressed by me.'”
Listen to Phoebe Bridgers’ full episode on Charli XCX’s Best Song Ever podcast below: