“This weekend rules,” Taylor Swift gushed in a tweet last night. It’s probably not too much of a jump to assume she’s referring partly to her bravura double-duty hosting gig on SNL, but the declaration was actually prompted by another bit of good news: Swift’s mega-hit single “You Belong With Me” got lovingly covered by musician Butch Walker. And apparently Swift was happy with the result: “I’m losing my MIND listening to it! Blown away.”
You might not recognize Walker’s name, but you definitely know his music. A part-time solo artist (and former member of ’90s one-hitters Marvelous 3), the Georgia native has become a go-to writer/producer for acts like Avril Lavigne (“When You’re Gone”), Pink (“Bad Influence,” “Long Way to Happy”), and Weezer (“(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To”), among others. (Sad side note: The master tapes for every one of his recordings went up in flames two years ago when the house that Walker rented from Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Flea burned down in the Malibu wildfires.)
For his take (or as he dubs it, “a little late-night Tayloring”) on “You Belong With Me,” Walker ditches Swift’s pop-radio sheen for a stripped-down, folksy shuffle and throws in few clever swap-outs for some of the lyrics: “girlfriend” becomes “boyfriend”; “she wears short skirts” becomes “he wears izods”, etc.
Walker also documented the whole process in a video on his official YouTube channel. Check it out below (the real action starts around the three-minute mark), and let us know if you’re as stoked as Swift:
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Britney Spears lip-synching controversy: (not) shock of the decade?
Sunday CMA rehearsal Not-Quite-Liveblog: Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and more!
Rihanna’s Diane Sawyer interview, part 2: The night she was assaulted