Music Icons Taylor Swift and BTS…Saviors of 2020?

Rohan Mathew

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If there were any consolation to this year, it would probably be when Taylor Swift surprisingly dropped her whimsical album entitled “folklore” last July 24 and when BTS finally dropped their upbeat disco-pop song “Dynamite” on August 21. These two artists had been topping charts since their respective releases and had also taken the trending topic by storm. Fans around the world are waiting to hear when they will have their tours and concerts again, and we can’t wait to keep you updated with when we can see their names on the section of Bay Area Events!

Taylor Swift, Artist of THE Decade, just surprisingly announced the release of her album “folklore” just a day before its debut. When we thought that we were all just spending quarantine unproductively, Taylor probably didn’t get the memo because fans (including me… because it’s 2020, who isn’t?) were so bewildered with the announcement. And even so when she said she was also going to release a music video for one of her tracks, “cardigan”. 

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As soon as the announcement hit and the photos were released, everyone quickly imbibed with the “rustic, cottage-core aesthetic” for this album depicted in a soft black and white concept with a whimsy fairytale-like backdrop. The photos invited so much comfort and it felt like this warm, fuzzy blanket that wraps around you while you’re sipping coffee on a chilly night. It created that simple and idyllic feeling which was something that most people were craving for during this time of pandemic. With everything that felt complex and fast-paced, it was something that brought pause and peace and had led people to reevaluate their lives. 

Moreover, the release of the album was very much awaited on the day and when it was finally released, needless to say, it was Taylor and it was just… heartbreakingly heaven. Taylor called this album “a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness” and this was her boldest move yet experimenting with indie genres which shy away from her usual country and pop styles. 

At the week ending October 22, the album jumped from number 10 to the top rank earning its 8th non-consecutive week as the top album on the chart according to Billboard. It seems like the chilly weather is making people tune back in to the heartbreaking duet of Bon Iver and Taylor Swift on “exile”. 

Contrary to the whimsical and heartbreaking songs by Taylor, BTS gifted its fans with an upbeat all-English song, “Dynamite”. The music video which featured RM, Jin, Suga, JHope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook in disco-pop outfits dancing playfully to the tune had recently earned 500 million views on YouTube. 

In a global conference prior to the song’s release, they discussed the meaning and the process that went into producing the track. Jungkook, the youngest member of the group, shared, “A lot of people are going through some tough times right now, I hope that ‘Dynamite’ will be a healing, therapeutic song [that] makes people happy.” On that note rapper JHope also added, “We’re back with a very bright, airy, bouncy song, and I hope you enjoy it.”

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The “healing” track has been well-received by fans and even non-fans as everyone went to dance to the retro bop song as soon as it was released. As of October, “Dynamite” had spent its 9th week on Billboard’s Hot 100 ranking at number 7 while it’s on its 3rd week at the top on Global 200 which is based on international sales and streaming data. Currently, it has 74.8 million streams and 24,000 sold downloads. 

The records smashed and the charts swept by this song are clearly manifestations not only of the power held by BTS but also how the song has helped shift the gloomy air to a fun and playful vibe which makes our worries even for just 3 minutes and 19 seconds. 

Though we still don’t know when this pandemic will truly end, it’s nice to anticipate these two icons touring the world again. Honestly, I miss the feeling of jumping until I’m sweating so hard and singing along with thousands of other people and just enjoying each and every moment. If you’re ever at San Francisco or you’d like to also attend the SF leg of the tour, make sure to tune in to The San Francisco Times which will surely be one to update you with all the concert details whenever that would happen. See you at the Levi’s Stadium, Bay Area fans!