Aaron Dessner Says He 'Can't Help But Be Influenced' by Taylor Swift's Songwriting: 'So Masterful'

The pair collaborated on Taylor Swift's Folklore and Evermore albums, as well as Aaron Dessner's latest Big Red Machine record

Aaron Dessner, Taylor Swift
Aaron Dessner and Taylor Swift. Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Taylor Swift's songwriting abilities can leave even a professional wordsmith speechless — at least, according to Aaron Dessner, who said the pair's recent collaborations left him "flabbergasted."

Dessner teamed up with Swift for her 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore, and last month, she returned the favor by hopping on two tracks for his latest Big Red Machine album with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.

"I learn a lot from Taylor because she's so talented, so hardworking and so sharp in her ideas, storytelling and sense of melody and rhythm," Dessner, who rose to fame as a founding member of The National, told NME.

"The way she'd respond to music I was making was often leaving me flabbergasted," he added. "She can carve into something in such a powerful, beautiful, incisive way that it does kind of give you… her approach to songwriting structurally, you just can't help but be influenced by it because it's so masterful."

RELATED VIDEO: Toni Collette Belts Taylor Swift's folklore in the Car with Daughter: We 'Know All the Lyrics'

The "Cardigan" singer, 31, delighted fans by contributing vocals to the duo's songs "Birch" and "Renegade," the latter of which she also co-wrote on the new album How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?

Dessner, meanwhile, co-produced and helped Swift write both Folklore and Evermore, and sang with the star on "Coney Island." Together, they won the Grammy award for album of the year for Folklore.

The collaborations came about when the coronavirus pandemic hit, as Swift explained that she began to pick Dessner's brain on The National's songwriting process.

"He told me they work remotely a lot because they all live all over the world," she explained in a Vevo "Footnotes" video. "When quarantine hit and I found myself wanting to write, I reached out and he was really wanting to create too. It's been one of the most effortless collaborations and I'm very lucky to have met him."

The pop superstar is currently gearing up for the release of Red (Taylor's Version), which will drop on Nov. 19 as her second re-recorded LP after this spring's Fearless (Taylor's Version).

The re-recordings come after Scooter Braun bought her former record label Big Machine, giving him control of the masters of Swift's first six albums. (He sold the masters for $300 million to Shamrock Holdings in November).

Red (Taylor's Version) will include nine songs "from the vault," including a long-awaited 10-minute version of "All Too Well," and collaborations with Ed Sheeran, Phoebe Bridgers and Chris Stapleton.

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