The mere release of credits rarely causes such a stir, but a minor level of hysteria erupted in two different fan camps Thursday when it was revealed that Olivia Rodrigo’s imminent album, “Sour,” includes a song co-credited to Taylor Swift and her writing partner Jack Antonoff.
It turns out that Rodrigo and Swift did not actually collaborate on the writing of “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back,” the track in question. Rather, Rodrigo’s new album track includes an “interpolation” of “New Year’s Day,” the closing ballad from Swift’s “Reputation” album.
Some fans leaped to the conclusion that Rodrigo had actually sampled the more than three-year-old track, and if so, whether that would put money in the pockets of the master recording’s owner, Big Machine Records… or the possibility that Rodrigo had sampled a new version already put down by Swift for a planned re-recording of “Reputation.”
Neither is the case; Rodrigo merely borrowed melodic elements of “New Year’s Day,” to which Swift and Antonoff own the full publishing rights. The two writers granted their permission for Rodrigo to use their melody.
As Swift fans were also quick to note, an homage to Swift is buried not so subtly in Rodrigo’s title for the new song, as 1 + 3 = 13, in a manner of viewing, aka Swift’s lucky number.
Rodrigo has been unabashed about her Swiftie-ness, and has noted in a recent interview that another track, the already released “Deja Vu,” took some inspiration from the way “Cruel Summer” from Swift’s “Lover” album was arranged, if not enough of it to give additional credit there also.
“Sour,” the most hotly anticipated album of the year to date, comes out tonight at midnight ET/9 PT.