As surprise-announced earlier today, Taylor Swift has now surprise-released Folklore, her 8th studio album. (Surprise!) To go along with this shocking-except-for-all-the-press-releases development, Swift has also released the first video for the album, centered on its lead-off single, “Cardigan.” And if you think you were surprised by the appearance of a new Taylor Swift album barging its way into your life today, you’ve got nothing on all the pianos the singer-songwriter absolutely ruined in the service of this particular shoot, none of whom could have come into this life knowing they’d be sacrificed to a variety of metaphors for the salvation-related powers of music.
Sure, things start out okay—there’s a cabin, some glowering photographs, everything’s dusty. But then the glowing light starts kicking in, and the next thing you know it, Taylor Swift is getting her Narnia on, jamming out on a piano which some Philistine has installed a functioning waterfall inside. (You know that can’t be good for the strings!) And once she abandons this moss-encrusted fallen soldier, Swift finds herself adrift in a literal ocean, floating along with nothing but a poor, doomed piano as her liferaft. All of which culminates in the final indignity, as she finally returns to her dusty abode, literally walking on the keys, Tom Hanks-style, before donning the titular garment.
None of which is a critique of the song, per se—slow and smooth, it’s a sleepy, lovely little piece. But still, we have to ask, Taylor: What did these pianos ever do to you?