The song, which plays over the movie’s end credits, arrives three weeks in advance of the release of “Where the Crawdads Sing,” due in theaters July 15.
The coming drop was revealed in an image on the artist’s Instagram Story. She didn’t include any additional text about the tune, although it’s likely she would have more to say when the song arrives tonight.
It marks the first freshly penned song Swift has issued since her “Evermore” album in late 2020, although the artist has put out remakes and previously unheard bonus tracks from her series of re-recorded catalog albums in the interim.
Hardcore fans already had a pretty good idea the tune would be arriving tonight. On Tuesday of this week, the official Instagram account for “Where the Crawdads Sing” posted messages with certain letters capitalized that, put together sequentially, spelled out “Carolina This Thursday,” using the method Swift herself used to employ in sending out secret messages in the lyric sheets for some of her early albums.
Additional information about the number was relayed by the filmmaking team in a roundtable about the movie that was livestreamed Jne 13.
The song was recorded in one take, using only instruments that existed in the early 1950s, when the first part of “Where the Crawdads Sing” is set — points of interest that were revealed by Reese Witherspoon, who produced the movie, and director Olivia Newman in a recent roundtable.
Swift “wrote this gorgeous letter to us,” said Newman, explaining how they chose instruments that were only available before 1953 and she recorded it in one take the way they recorded songs at the time. … The first time I listened to it, I just started bawling and I said, ‘I don’t know what’s happening to me right now.’ I mean, I love singing along to Taylor Swift songs but I never cry like this.”
The song was written on spec and then submitted out of the blue by Swift, the filmmakers revealed.
Said Witherspoon, “She read this book and loved it so much, and then she heard we were making a movie [during the period] she was making her ‘Folklore’ album and then she wrote a song with that whole ‘Folklore’ team, which was so haunting and magical and beautiful.”
“She had gone and written this song out of just pure inspiration and sort of said, ‘I don’t know if you’ll like it, but here it is,'” confirmed Newman.
The existence of the tune was first revealed in a March 22 trailer for the movie that included excerpts from the track. Swift posted on Instagram at the time that “Carolina” was produced by Aaron Dessner, a primary collaborator on “Folklore” and “Evermore,” her last pair of more acoustically based albums, both released in 2020. “I wanted to create something haunting and ethereal to match this mesmerizing story,” she wrote at the time.
The director said in the recent livestream discussion that Swift’s song reflects the tone of the story’s ending, as it plays over the credits. “We wanted to leave audiences with that same sort of emotional feeling” that was impactful on readers of the source novel, Newman said, “and her song just leans right into that.”
Previous original songs Swift has written or co-written for feature films include “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (featuring Zayn Malik)” for “Fifty Shades Darker” in 2016, “Sweeter Than Fiction” for “One Chance” in 2013, “Safe and Sound” and “Eyes Open” for “The Hunger Games” in 2012, “Today Was a Fairytale” for “Valentine’s Day” in 2010 and “Crazier” and “You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home” for “The Hannah Montana Movie” in 2009.
Swift will also be on the screen this fall, with a part in director David O. Russell’s “Amsterdam” that represents her first substantial acting role in a drama. Previously she appeared in “Cats,” “The Giver,” “Valentine’s Day” and the animated film “The Lorax.”