By Esther Zuckerman
Updated October 22, 2014 at 08:38 PM EDT

Taylor Swift, wonder that she is, was able to reach the No. 1 slot on Canadian iTunes with a track consisting of just eight seconds of white noise.

The release of “Track 3” was eventually credited to a “glitch,” and according to Swift’s Instagram feed, where she’s been releasing lyrics from each song on the album, the real third track from 1989 has lyrics about someone being “out and about with some other girl.” (Update: The actual track three is “Style,” which Swift previewed in a Target ad.) But these days, I have a hard time putting anything past Swift, who has shown herself a master of the media narrative. Assuming that the release of “Track 3,” which you can listen to “Track 3” over at Business Insider, was at least partially intentional, here are what some of her influences might have been.

John Cage

A number of writers have already pointed out that “Track 3″ seems inspired by John Cage’s legendary 4’33.”

New York

Swift’s move to New York clearly had a big impact on 1989, so much so that the first track on the album is her “Welcome to New York.” Two tracks later, Swift is more fully exploring the ambience of the city with a song that recreates the sound of the city’s traffic on wet pavement or the whir of a laundromat.

DJ Roomba

“Track 3” sort of sounds like a Roomba—meaning Swift has potentially been catching up on old Parks and Rec episodes, stealing some of Tom Haverford’s swagger.

Gone Girl

Over at Time, Nolan Feeney mentions that Swift is “drawing inspiration from Trent Reznor.” Likely, Swift saw Gone Girl and has some feelings about the Cool Girl section. Like so many of us, perhaps she wasn’t sure what to make of Gone Girl‘s complicated female representation so she put those confused feelings into “Track 3,” paying homage to the movie’s soundtrack along the way.


Swift decided to stop just referencing rain and actually make something that sounds like rain. Now you know what it’s supposed to sound like when she sings, “Meet me in the pouring rain.”

A white-noise machine

Swift wants to be completely involved in her fans’ lives. Hence, she made music to help them sleep.

A shower

It’s a metaphor: She’s washing away the country as she moves fully into pop.