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 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:

"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."

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What's On: Taylor Swift

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