Tag Archives: KelTay

Taylor IS on Kelsea’s self-titled album (2020) and SHE is the track 4 falling out on Subject to Change (2022)

12 Nov

I know you aren’t going to believe me.  Taylor and Kelsea at least had a dalliance, if not full-on dated.  Here is the link to my 2020 albums ranking:

I provide it because it’s date/time stamped to Dec 2020.

In it, I said I can hear Taylor Swift on several albums that year.  All for people who are known associates of hers.  All uncredited.  Here’s the blurb from that post:

OK, I Know Halsey featured on The Other Girl, track 4 of Kelsea’s self-titled album from 2020.

Ashley…is Halsey, P.S. I hadn’t known that but was looking for possible pseudonyms.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen for yourself.  A good place to compare and hear that there are 3, not 2, distinct voices is:

0.55-1.00 is Kelsea alone

1.04-1.12 is most definitely Taylor Swift according to my ears

1:26-1:30 is Halsey by herself

Kelsea Ballerini – the other girl (with Halsey) [Official Audio]

Now, I tried to compare the studio version of the song to the live CMT duet, but alas, they were lip syncing (not bashing, just stating facts) so it’s the exact same song.

The part that I heard Taylor on has lyrics:

Taylor says she’s a scarlet letter (fraught with adultery, witchy stigma vibes) in Love Story:

Original lyric said “This love is DIFFERENT, but it’s real.  Different like gay.  Because what straight, white love pairing is so off-putting to parents and society?

Then, in New Romantics Taylor introduces herself again using scarlet letter:

In this context scarlet letters is some trait that’s stigmatized by society.  And she says this group of misfits she is hanging out with in NYC has different scarlet (aka stigmatized) letters.  How about LGBTQQAA perhaps?  And she says, hers trumps all of them.  In the song she goes on to describe:

To this group love = danger.  P.S. there is nothing dangerous about a wealthy, white lady dating a wealthy white man…  To emphasize her point Taylor talks about switching sides.  That’s bisexual.  Or they “switched” from hetero to homo.  To drive home that she’s talking about gay love and being a part of the marginalized gay community, Taylor talks about the terrible, cruel rumors, which just like in Betty (another song with gay undertones) are true.  Every day these LGBT folk are battling for rights and visibility and equality but every night they’re alone with their lover, peaceful and happy.  

That’s all to say it’s very interesting that those are the lines I hear Taylor on in Kelsea’s song.  Like it goes with what Taylor has been telling us in other songs.

Back to The Other Girl video/song:  

At 1:44 Taylor says, “I, eye?!”  WTF, now eye theory 

2:08 is a repeat of Taylor singing the red dress part, but it’s a lot harder to distinguish her voice from this point on in the song, because I don’t think she sings alone.  There may or may not be a “girl” she sings by herself, but I couldn’t tell for sure…

So Taylor sang uncredited on an album with friends, big deal, you say.

HERE’S WHY THIS MATTERS:

On Kelsea’s 2020 album she talks about falling out with someone on her track 4.  And everybody assumed it was about the credited feature, Halsey.  But we have no story, no blind, no evidence of what happened between Kelsea and Halsey, if anything.  I think Kelsea is talking about Taylor!

DOIN’ MY BEST 

[Verse 1]

2020 was a weird year

Album dropped at a weird time

Ain’t the homecoming queen but better believe I cried

And therapy for one turned

Into therapy for two

When you get married that young, you got a lotta shit you gotta get through

Kelsea got divorced.

…[Verse 2]

I was friends with a pop star

I put ’em on track four, but

Wish I could take it back, I would’ve nevеr asked

If I knew we wouldn’t talk anymorе

…[Bridge]

I live in my head ’til the sun’s up

Even I can admit that it’s fucked up

And you’re pushing for perfect your whole life

And it didn’t work out

But, damn it, I tried

The bridge just might have a double meaning.  On the one hand Kelsea is talking about releasing her self-titled album that she worked really hard on, during a time promo couldn’t be done, so maybe it did worse then she hoped/anticipated.

A 2nd meaning could be that Kelsea is overthinking.  The sun (Karlie) is out, centered in Taylor’s life.  Kaylor is on-again.  Kelsea says Taylor using her (Kelsea) as a back-up gal when Kaylor is off is fucked up.  In this context the “you’re” shifts to Taylor possibly.  She’s the one with the perfect image she’s trying to maintain.  And that keeps her closeted.  And being in a closeted relationship sucks for both Karlie (Kaylor on) and Kelsea (Kaylor off).  But damn it, Kelsea tried to have a proper relationship with Taylor.

KelSwift and Kaylor on again off again

1 Oct

You saw my disclaimer on the other 3-4 posts that yes, this post is Taylor-centric because I’m trying to find connections.  The thing that started this was Kelsea’s lyric:  DAISES ON THE DASHBOARD?!  For what reason?  It’s not a common expression, or something that happens.  That is a purposeful, direct connection to Kaylor.  So here we are, seeing ANY possible others…  But I like Kelsea as an artist in her own right, I’m not saying she’s copying Taylor, or that Taylor wrote her songs or anything disrespectful.  I’m just trying to call out possible intentional connections that Kelsea placed across her new album.

If this is confirmation bias–it’s sure strong.  And it speaks to how Taylor’s writing has the ability to capture universal, relatable feelings in all sorts of situations.  So many lyrics of Taylor’s encapsulate just what an individual is feeling or going through.  If this song is not intentionally referencing Taylor’s work–then Kelsea needs to give Taylor a call, because Tay could really be an understanding shoulder to cry on.  She gets what Kelsea is going through–says her lyrics.

Each one of these lyrical parallels would be considered a “reach” by the mean-Gaylors and the hetlors.  And it’s true, after seeing the daises line, I was really looking deep, and trying to pull out any, little thing that connected to Taylor. So some of these just might be stretching it. This write-up may delve into fan-fiction territory, but take from it what you like, and leave what feels too “reachy” (to use a word I’m tired of). But when there’s TEN “reaches” in one song is it confirmation bias or a preponderance of evidence?  Time will tell.  Midnights out October 21, 2022.

I GUESS THEY CALL IT FALLIN’ (Lyrics)

I guess they call it falling ’cause you end up on the ground/You can’t live forever with your head up in the clouds

I mean, Taylor Swift [Lover] OUT now?!

As we discussed before Kelsea might be talking about the beginning of the Lover era where Taylor was actively trying to get Karlie back (the literal signs, the mural, etc, etc…).  A lot of cloud imagery was used for Lover promo so Kelsea uses the word “clouds” to describe this more complex situation.  See Kelsea’s song Weather in another post.

Think it’s written in the stars ’til they burn out

I am waiting to see if Taylor talks about stars in her new album–it’s a pet theory of mine with no evidence yet.  I have seen stars (and the moon) mentioned across this album of Kelsea’s.  And it makes sense to me for Taylor to move on from Karlie (the sun) to Kelsea the stars and/or moon.

…I was like, “Oh my God”, every thought played like a video

I thought the quotations and video was an odd turn of phrase, so I looked up Taylor’s lyrics where she says, “Oh my God” and found:

A song about the media and public having this perception of Taylor.  She is tongue in cheek here, playing into that (false) perception.  The subtext/secret meaning of the song is about bearding.  

Shake It Off is a song about ignoring haters and living your best life. 

That song also addresses the media and public’s perception of Taylor:

The third song where Taylor uses, “Oh my God” talks about the perception that Taylor is a serial dater who just writes songs about her exes:

All three of these songs talk about the (false) perception in the general public that Taylor is boy-crazy. And the narrative pushed by the media that Taylor just writes songs about her exes. The were really big music videos for Taylor as well.

I think in this line Kelsea is saying when her and Taylor were first having romantic sparks, she was incredulous.  Kelsea might have been surprised because the media portrays Taylor as a man-eater, and Taylor’s public persona leans into dating and writing songs about men.  So Kelsea might have been shocked to have a romantic connection with Taylor. She might also have been a bit star-struck to have something serious with someone of Taylor’s caliber of fame, since Kelsea had seen Taylor in her music videos before meeting her in person.

Left your shirt, and the hurt, now I curse your Acqua di Gio

Taylor’s Tis the Damn Season mentions perfume:

It’s about how Taylor goes back to her hometown (Nashville, where Kelsea also lives) to visit her parents and has an on again off again fling when she’s home. Both people are OK with this situationship. Taylor talks about how when she’s home that relationship and life (road not taken) seems good, but she left that geographic location.  But it still is part of her and stays with her.   

In Illicit Affairs Taylor talks about sleeping with someone who is committed to somebody else (Karlie is officially with Jo$h).  They have to lie and sneak around to see each other.  But living in secret gets real old, and the high of their encounters feels less and less good as time goes on because of the million lies.

The perfume is used as a “tell” of the encounter.  Perfume can be used to cover up the scent of the side-chick so her smell is not noticed by the boyfriend. Karlie might put on the perfume Jo$h bought her (or perfume she picked out because Jo$h liked the smell) to cover up Taylor’s smell on her. It could go the other way too: Perfume cannot be worn during the encounters because it would leave scent-evidence that the person was there.  If Jo$h could smell Taylor’s perfume on their bed there would be questions.

Kelsea curses the perfume because the scent left behind makes her think of Taylor.  And also the perfume represents secrets and hiding an affair, so it makes Kelsea think of the Kaylor bearding triangle.  

That night you told me I hung your moon (I hung your moon)

If Midnights has moons and stars, I will not shut up about it!!!

I jumped right in with no parachute (No parachute, oh, oh)/…Did you only get me high to let me down?

Taylor uses “high” in two of her more WLW songs:

Call it What You Want is a definite Karlie song (Call it what you want, Karlie what you want).  Taylor tells Karlie that she can call what they have going on whatever she wants.  Karlie is  nervous about it.  Karlie doesn’t want to be a cheater.  But Taylor just wants to keep what they have going alive, even if it needs to be secret and unofficial.  It doesn’t have to be lesbian-love, call it anything that makes you more comfortable. It speaks to the on-again off-again nature of Kaylor also. With Karlie being nervous about breaking her commitment to Jo$h as one reason for the encounters to be fleeting and secretive, on and off.

Kelsea using “high” in opposition to down could reference an on and off Taylor relationship.  And when Kelsea thinks of Taylor’s songs pleading with Karlie to be with her, that’s what gets Kelsea down.  Whenever Kaylor is “on” that means Taylor is emotionally unavailable and physically gone from Kelsea. Kaylor and KelSwift and similar relationships. One person is on, then off, here than gone.

Another song where Taylor uses the word “high” is Don’t Blame Me.  In the song Taylor compares WLW love to a drug.  She says it’s bad for her and her brand and her image, but also she can’t stay away. “My drug is my baby.”  

Kelsea feels like her love with Taylor gets her high also.  When Taylor comes around and loves Kelsea, it’s like a drug.  It’s that same drug Taylor speaks about in her song, the WLW love, and Kelsea can’t leave it alone even though there’s a let down when Taylor/the WLW love leaves again.

I guess they call it falling ’cause you end up on your face/Sleeping by myself in a bed I didn’t make

If Taylor and Karlie were on and off, it’s possible Taylor got with Kelsea during the Kaylor “off” periods.  And it wasn’t Kelsea’s choice to be alone during the Kaylor “on” periods.   Taylor’s song, Willow describes Taylor sneaking in to see Karlie even though she’s committed to Jo$h (bearding contract or bisexual love, we don’t know).

Willow talks about sneaking around to be with your secret WLW lover despite commitments to men and secrecy to preserve public images. The partner is mythical, because they are gone a lot, mostly a dream not reality. Describing a lover as a trophy or champion ring could speak to Taylor and Jo$h fighting over Karlie. In their fighting, they’re treating her as an object without autonomy to make her own choices. “Prize I’d cheat to win” probably has the double meaning of cheating in a relationship, and also cheating/lying to the public to hide the true nature of the relationship. “I’m begging for you to take my hand, wreck my plans, that’s my man” is one partner asking the other to commit fully to them. Wreck the bearding plans (for one or both Taylor/J0e and Karlie/Jo$h). In an interview, when asked about Jo$h, Karlie repeatedly referred to him as “my man” which came off as awkward. So Taylor may have written Willow with that in mind, to convey Karlie’s commitment to Jo$h as a stumbling block to be “home” (a committed relationship with each other).

Sleeping in a bed I didn’t make, is Kelsea saying that her relationship with Taylor, got her dragged into all this Kaylor drama. She didn’t create the Kaylor bearding triangle, but she has to live with the consequences of it too. Kelsea is left alone when Taylor is literally going back to Karlie, or emotionally still hung up on Kaylor.

… I should’ve known, should’ve known, should’ve known, should’ve known (I should’ve known, known)

I thought Kelsea’s repetition of this phrase was pointed, but didn’t know why.  I looked up the phrase in Taylor’s lyrics to check if Kelsea was insinuating a connection.

It’s funny that the lyric ties to White Horse a song about someone holding out hope that this other person will come around.  Ultimately Taylor realizes this person is going to let her down because she is being starry-eyed and dreamy about love, not realistic.

So that sentiment goes right along with Kelsea falling for an person who is back and fourth, in and out of her life.  There are highs when they’re together, but it comes at the cost of loneliness and feeling bad when Taylor physically leaves for Karlie (in earlier years), or emotionally checks out for missing the Kaylor relationship (in more current times).

… Then the wind, blowing in, threw me right off of my pedestal

Red is a song also about highs and lows of a passionate love that ends suddenly.  It seems connected to the theme of this song as well.

The word, “wind” again conjures, Willow which describes secret meetings and fooling the media/public with the bait and switch.  It’s a lover that comes and goes in secret, same as in Kelsea’s song.

In the second half of Kelsea’s phrase she says threw me off my pedestal. “Pedestal” is a very loaded word in GayLore.  It conjures Dianna, one of Taylor’s early girlfriends.  It’s also a common phrase when digging into Gaylor (Taylor’s LGBT subtext and secretive relationships) to say “going down the rabbit hole” which was Dianna’s heading on Tumblr (I think?).  

Taylor doesn’t have a copyright on the word, but if Kelsea were trying to reference Gaylor things, that would be a good way to do it.  In Long Story Short, Taylor describes being at the top, then falling down (kinda like this song) then clinging to the nearest lips. . .

…[Bridge]/I should’ve known gravity was gonna pull/You and me, down, down, down

In one of Taylor’s gayest songs, she uses “gravity” to describe the pull she has to a dangerous partner/type of love.  And Taylor says that other person (Dianna?) is quicksand.  Meaning not stable, fickle, here and gone.  Sort of like this song is saying Taylor is in and out, bringing Kelsea love to make her high, then leaving and making Kelsea fall to the ground, sad and lonely.

But I know now/I should’ve known gravity was gonna pull/You and me, down, down, down

A second song of Taylor’s uses “gravity” to describe her inability to stay away from this lover/love that’s bad for her brand.  Dancing with Our Hands Tied aka the Kissgate song, is another of Taylor’s gayest songs.  So it’s funny that this song talking about a love interest that is fickle and leaving all the time, talks about that love interest feeling scared about homophobia.  Taylor, loves Karlie, but doesn’t want to get caught as WLW and lose her career success.  So she runs away and hides, despite love.  And Kelsea is acknowledging that not only Kaylor takes Taylor away from their relationship, but Taylor’s skittishness about being out(ed) is a barrier to her being emotionally/romantically available.

But I know now/…[Outro]/(I guess they call it fallin’, ah-ah, ah)/I guess they call it fallin’/(I guess they call it fallin’, ah-ah, ah)

Finally, one of Taylor’s songs that uses “falling” perfectly encapsulates the meaning of this song.  

Taylor tells Dianna to stay with her instead of leaving all the time.  Taylor fell in love, but it’s not happy, it’s cruel because Dianna is worlds away.  Now the shoe is on the other foot and Taylor is worlds away while Kelsea is sad when she’s gone.

If you were only gonna let me go/Ah-ah, ah, ah-ah

One Taylor Reference Might be a Coincidence, But a Dozen? That’s a KELincidence

25 Sep

OK this is going to be all about Taylor because I’m trying to convey the connections I noticed. And maybe some of it is a “reach” as the more mean-girl Gaylors and the homophobes accuse anything that’s outside the well-established narrative.  I heard many things, that alone, didn’t mean much, but compiled all together made me think, hmmmmm.  So this is me looking at Kelsea’s work through a frame of trying to find proof she is into women and also that her and Taylor had a fling/are together/are WLW besties–something is there!  But please know that I like Kelsea Ballerini as an artist, on her own terms.  For more Kelsea-centric content, see my album review from 12/8/20:

And my Top 12 songs from 1/6/17:

Now on to the clues in Kelsea’s new album!

THE LITTLE THINGS

Save your money on the roses, baby/Just leave a daisy on the dashboard

The first few lines are Kelsea rejecting romantic gestures like roses and idealized prince on a white horse rescuing a’la heteronormative tropes.  Kelsea is saying she’s OK with breaking all the straight-dating-rituals and norms for this relationship.  

Also, these lines tie directly to Taylor, and pretty blatantly.  On first listen to the album, these were the lines that clued me into the fact Kelsea might like women–and specifically, Taylor. 

At one point Taylor was using so much rose imagery that fans speculated her next album might be called Roses.  

At another point, fans speculated that Kelsea’s new track, ROSES was a collaboration with Taylor:

Interesting…

Remember Taylor’s song Gold Rush? This product is called Rose Blush:

Walk past, quick brush/I don’t like slow motion double vision in rose blush

Here are other examples of roses/gardens in Taylor’s work:

  • Love Story: So I sneak out to the garden to see you
  • Blank Space: Rose garden filled with thorns
  • Cruel Summer: And I snuck in through the garden gate every night that summer just to seal my fate
  • Betty: Would you tell me to go fuck myself or lead me to the garden?
  • Betty: In the garden would you trust me if I told you it was just a summer thing?
  • Cowboy Like Me: Now you hang from my lips like the Gardens of Babylon

Here’s some more interesting rose/flower/garden incidents in Kaylor:

Taylor is twinning with Karlie’s cover from 5/21/18 when she collects are folklore Grammy on 3/15/21.

And again here Taylor is undeniably twinning with Karlie’s 9/13/21 Met dress for her I Know You Think About Me video announcement/promo on 11/14/21:

And daisies.  Let’s not forget how important daisies are in the story of Kaylor.

The Big Sur road trip was epic in the start of Taylor and Karlie’s love story.  With many lyrics referencing it, the daisy on the DASHBOARD, daisy tag on Karlie’s social media, and the same daisy in Taylor’s liner notes–it’s one of the biggest proofs for Kaylor.

In other words those 2 lines of Kelsea’s song are telling her new romance to leave Karlie behind and stop with all the roses/daisies/gardens to focus on the little things with her.

Don’t gotta ride in on a white horse

That is a literal title of one of Taylor’s first hit songs.  And that song also fits the theme of this song about rejecting heteronormative indoctrination:

Kelsea is saying she doesn’t want a Prince Charming on the white horse to rescue her. She wants a non-stereotypical love that means more to her because of little things rather than grand gestures of Disney movies and rom-coms.

When you’re younger they say it’s a kiss in the rain

Again, I’m not saying Taylor has a copyright on “rain” the word, imagery, metaphor, symbolism–it’s pretty common in writing.  But there is a preponderance of rain songs, especially kissing in rain songs in Taylor’s work, so if you were trying to reference her this might be a subtle way to do it:

Throwing rocks at a window

Taken alone, this line is just a common writing theme.  As the fourth very close association to Taylor things in one song, in a row–it seems intentional on Kelsea’s part that she wants the listener to be reminded of Swift.  The next line of Kelsea’s song could also be a reference to another early Taylor Swift song, Ours:

 And Ours just happens to have one of the same messages contained within Kelsea’s track 1:  Subject to Change.  That society may judge LGBT love, but the happiness of the individual must be prioritized so the relationship is pursued even so.  

But it’s when we’re in a crowded room, put your hand on my back

This line reminds me of the themes in at least 3 Taylor Swift songs:  Ours that we just talked about.  Taylor’s line, 

They’ll judge it like they know about me and you/And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do

When people see a same sex couple, they’re not sure if they’re just friends, or if the two people are in a relationship, especially straight people!  Heteronormativity works hard.  When Taylor says they know about me and you, she’s saying people are speculating that she and the person she’s talking about in the song are not just friends, but gay together.  Furthermore, those gossiping people disapprove and stigmatize anything that is not straight.  So Kelsea’s line makes me think of a covert couple in a public space.  They can appear as friends to safely avoid further scrutiny or judgment.  Because when it’s a woman’s hand on another gal’s back, heteronormativity says they’re just friends!  

The second song of Taylor’s that this line makes me think about is, I Know Places:

Pretty much that whole song is an expansion of the line we talked about in Ours.  Same theme.  “Friends” out in a public space, and someone inside that secret relationship daringly depends on heteronormativity to make their gesture of love to appear as just friendly.  It’s both daring and safe for a female couple to touch out in front of the public.  People usually chalk it up to friendship.  But there are the gossips that want to call it out as WLW and disparage it.  So for the couple there is always that fear of being exposed.  And in Taylor’s case, she says she hides the relationship away from prying eyes so they can love safely. 

The third of Taylor’s songs that Kelsea’s line reminds me of is, So It Goes… 

I think Kelsea is talking about the same phenomenon Taylor speaks of with “magician” and “illusionist” in public spaces.  When this couple is out on the town, they appear straight.  Maybe they’re flirting with guys, or “dating” a guy.  They can do small coupley things that the naysayers will interpret as female friendship, but this couple is on high alert not to get caught.  But Taylor’s song is saying when they’re alone, it’s “wear you like a necklace” time.  

And waiting on me in the morning with my coffee black…

It’s wine and vinyl, my head on your shoulder…

Reminder, I know Taylor doesn’t have the only references to drinking in any song.  But also, if you were talking about Taylor Swift, it might be apt to mention alcohol.  Taylor’s discography has at least 11 lines that talk about wine, not counting all the champagne/beer/whiskey/cocktails/drunk references.  And it wouldn’t be surprising that two artists might hang out listening to vinyls, signing vinyls, or otherwise listening to music and doing merch.

Used to think it would be a backseat sex scene/Drawing hearts on the window…

A clear callback to the song, Heartfirst where she met a man at a party and went to the car with him. But the line here says, USED to think.  So Kelsea has changed her mind about what love is to her.  Which she clearly tells us on the first track.

Just pull me in and kiss me slow/Ooh, it ain’t just for show (it ain’t just for show)

And this line reminds me of Taylor’s Peace:

Peace describes half of the couple being blue and depressed.  The other person says they will be there for them, warm their heart, die for them.  But only privately.  Outsiders think the love is PR or just friends, but they don’t know the real story.  Their love is a hidden secret and it’s true and deep, but also the person asks is this secret relationship going to be enough for you?    

(Ah) let’s not go big, let’s just go home

I know, I know the concept of “home” is not owned by Taylor.  But also lyrics of Taylor’s that contain the word…

home {also in Exile and Peace and Tears Ricochet}

~[Cornelia Street from Lover = “leading us home” “I took the long way home“]

~[Cruel Summer from Lover = “…I cried like a baby coming home from the bar”]

~[Delicate from Reputation = “do the girls back home touch you like I do?”]

~[Gorgeous from Reputation = “guess I’ll just stumble on home to my cats”]

~[I Think He Knows from Lover = “I’ll make myself at home“]

~[Lover from Lover = “take me out and take me home (forever and ever)”]

~[Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince from Lover = “I think you should come back home“]

~[New Year’s Day from Reputation = “or if you strike out and you’re crawling home“]

~[Paper Rings from Lover = “went home and tried to stalk you on the internet”]

~[Style from 1989 = “takes me home” “just take me home“]

So here, Kelsea is offering to be the one to take Taylor home.  She’ll provide peace and stability, just the little things.