Listen to Taylor Swift and Aphex Twin's New Mashup Album 'AphexSwift'

Saccharine and terrifying in equal parts.

aphex twin taylor swift
(Image credit: Archives)

1989 isn't the only Taylor Swift (opens in new tab) album you should be excited about today...

Cartoonist and National Geographic host David Rees has created a mashup album of pop darling Swift and Brit alternative electro musician Aphex Twin. Even more fascinating than the music itself is Rees' impassioned two-part thesis, which highlights the artists' shared tenderness and creepiness. He posted it on his Tumblr (opens in new tab):

"Taylor Swift made her name by writing big-hearted confessional songs for tween girls," he wrote in Part 1. "But a lot of Aphex Twin's music (especially on the Richard D. James Album, from which most of these tracks are culled) is also super romantic — saccharine, even. Sometimes I wonder if his impossibly complex, inhuman drum patterns are just serving as a layer of sonic indie-cred to make the heart-on-your-sleeve melody and delicate timbres of (say) "Girl/Boy Song" more palatable for "cool" people. Or, on a more personal level, it's like he's protecting his bleeding heart behind a crazy tangle of barbed-wire snare rolls. AND WHO AMONG US HASN'T DONE THAT? So part one of my thesis is: APHEX TWIN IS AS BIG A ROMANTIC CORNBALL AS TAYLOR SWIFT."

Part Two:

"And then, on the other hand, we've got to acknowledge that Taylor Swift is sort of terrifying," he said. "Aphex Twin is famously camera shy, and employs a lot of cryptic/creepy imagery in his videos. Of course, I wouldn't describe Taylor Swift as camera-shy … but her incredible poise and superhuman competence are, to me, just as alien and intimidating as Aphex Twin's photoshopped leering ghoul-faces. It's a cliche to describe a celebrity as controlled and masterful as Taylor Swift as robotic, but I think there's some truth there, especially in an age when we assume — rightly or wrongly — any pop singer who hits a high note did it with the help of a computer. There's also the matter of her lyrics, which can be sorta cruel and sarcastic in a classic "mean girl" way. For all her blinding smiles and Subway commercials and wholesome concerts, I do think there's a dark side to Taylor Swift. She is what happens when Skynet becomes self-aware. And so part two of my thesis is: TAYLOR SWIFT IS AS SCARY AS APHEX TWIN."

Take a break from binging on 1989 and listen to the 8-track album (it might even be hair-raising enough for Halloween), below. Be sure not to miss the epic combination of Swift's "You Belong With Me" and Aphex Twin's "Avirl 14."

Related Links:

What's On: Taylor Swift (opens in new tab)

Taylor Swift's Rise to America's Sweetheart (opens in new tab)

Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.