Which Taylor Swift hits were almost The National songs?

Taylor Swift and The National’s Aaron Dessner onstage in Tampa, FL; Octavio Jones/TAS23/Getty Images for for TAS Rights Management

Two of Taylor Swift‘s #1 hits were apparently almost The National songs.

Taylor collaborated with the band’s Aaron Dessner on her two 2020 albums, folklore and evermore. They spawned the singles “cardigan” and “willow,” respectively, which both reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.  But as National frontman Matt Berninger tells The Telegraph, he initially tried to make National songs out of the music Dessner wrote for “cardigan” and “willow.”

“I’d taken a swing at [‘cardigan’] and ‘willow’ and a couple of others, and I wasn’t having a lot of luck, so Aaron sent them to Taylor,” Berninger says. “I always have a lot of music to work on, and I am looking for something to connect emotionally.”

“The reverse has happened too, where Aaron wrote something for Taylor, and I dove right in,” Berninger explains. “It works both ways.”

In addition to Dessner’s work with Taylor, The National as a whole guested on the evermore song “coney island.” She’ll will return the favor on The National’s upcoming album, First Two Pages of Frankenstein — she’s featured on a song called “The Alcott.”

First Two Pages of Frankenstein arrives April 28.

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