WATCH | 8 music videos that perfectly display the evolution of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Photo: by Getty
  • Taylor Swift recently released her eighth studio album, folklore, once again showing off a different side of herself.
  • From a teen country star to a pop icon, we take a look at Taylor's evolution through her music videos.
  • One music video has been selected from each of the singer's eight studio albums, so strap on your seatbelt and get ready for the ride.

It's been nearly two weeks since Taylor Swift surprised fans with her eighth studio album, folklore. Since then, the 30-year-old has set numerous records, with the album being called the biggest of 2020 so far by some. 

The new album shows a different side to the star - a more indie/folk sound. The change, however minor or drastic you may perceive it to be, is just the latest in many musical transformations Taylor has undergone. Remember the curly-haired, guitar-playing, country star we all fell in love with? Well, we do! 

Taylor has released eight studio albums to date, transforming her style with each one. So strap on your seatbelts, cause we're about to take a trip down memory lane.

Here are eight music videos that perfectly show Taylor's musical journey:

1. Teardrops on My Guitar (From the album, Taylor Swift)

Day one Swifties, where you at?

2006 saw the release of Taylor's self-titled debut album. With a head full of curls and her guitar always close by, Taylor was the new girl on the country scene. Her songs were relatable and had every teen singing along. 

2. You Belong With Me (From the album, Fearless)

Taylor had established herself a teen country sensation. The year is 2008, and You Belong With Me is playing on every radio station.

Taylor's still rocking those girls, but there's something else that makes people gravitate towards her - she's repping for the underdog. The star lets everyone know it's okay to be the odd kid. Her fanbase continues to grow from here.

3. Back to December (From the album, Speak Now)

Taylor slowly starts to stray from her country roots, leaning more towards mainstream pop. She is growing up, and it shows in her music. While previous songs feel more like high school romances, Back To December shows a more mature side to the singer. Rumour has it the song was penned for Taylor Lautner who she briefly dated.

Taylor also starts to switch up her look here. The tight curls are gone, and in this video, she appears with her iconic straight-cut fringe. 

4. I Knew You Were Trouble (From the album, Red)

It's 2012, and the pop scene has fully welcomed Taylor Swift. The singer releases Red, giving us amazing upbeat pop gems like We Are Never Getting Back Together and 22.

There's also a continuation of her "songs inspired by my ex-boyfriends" theme (not a real theme, but you get what we mean). We Are Never Getting Back Together is rumoured to be about Jake Gyllenhaal, while I knew You Were Trouble is said to be inspired by Taylor's relationship with Harry Styles. 

The video for I Knew You Were Trouble is just a taste of a more edgy Taylor. The truth is, we had no idea what was coming.

5. Bad Blood (From the album, 1989)

2014 saw Taylor go from the gentle high school nerd who avoided confrontation, to the popular girl who could get her famous friends to beat you up.

The music video for this song features a number of Taylor's close friends, including Selena Gomez and Karlie Kloss, who form part of what many refer to as the "Tay Squad".

The song was rumoured to be directed at Katy Perry, but it was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to that feud. Edgy Taylor was in full swing with a ruffled bob and side-swept fringe.

1989 also gave us bangers like Shake It Off and Blank Space. Taylor was standing up for herself, and she was more overt about it.

6. Look What You Made Me Do (From the album, Reputation)

Sorry, the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now. No more Ms Nice Girl, Taylor's claws were out with this one. The sunshine and butterflies were replaced with zombies and snakes. In fact, in the Look What You Made Me Do video, the "new" Taylor is seen standing on top of a pedestal as past versions of herself try to reach her.

The song, once again rumoured to be about her feud with Katy Perry, sampled a track used in the Mean Girls movie. This after Katy shared a cryptic tweet in which she warned people to "Watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing".

Taylor also references an on-going battle with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Overall, the video was a lot darker than we're used to seeing from Taylor.

7. Lover (From the album, Lover)

A revival of the "old" Taylor. Not going to lie, we missed her. Lover feels like a throwback to Taylor's country roots. At this point, the star has settled her feud with Katy and found love once again. She knows who she is, and it shows. With guitar in hand and soft curls in her hair, Taylor won over many hearts with this 2019 gem.

8. cardigan (From the album, folklore)

Finally, we've got the 2020 hit, cardigan. The song comes from Taylor's folklore album, and while it introduces a new indie style, it doesn't stray too far from the Taylor we know and love. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24