My Journey: Not Listening To My Favorite Artist For One Whole Week


Ava Pizzarelli, Freelancer

Here’s the first thing you should know about me: I am an obsessive Taylor Swift fan. 

She is my favorite artist to ever grace this world. Because of my notable obsession with the singer-songwriter, I have been challenged to not listen to Taylor Swift for one whole week. I personally had no faith in myself, and I believed I was going to fail in less than an hour. 

I’m proud to say, however, that I made it the full week without listening to Taylor. There are a couple of reasons why this is so difficult: I’m always listening to music, and Taylor Swift is always on the top of my playlist; I am also extremely picky when it comes to what I’ll listen to. That being said, the week was certainly difficult. 

I found that, when I found myself craving one of Taylor’s albums, it was easier to not think of her than to continue to go into withdrawal. Although the week was challenging, it definitely had some bright sides: I ended up listening to artists I have wanted to listen to previously but never found the time. 

The major artist I found myself listening to was the Australian pop band 5 Seconds Of Summer. I listen to all four of their studio albums, as well as the solo records of two of its members. Overall, I really enjoy the band’s music. Their second album, called Sounds Good Feels Good, simply because it is a fun and care-free gem. My favorite song from the album is called “Safety Pin,” which has now become one of my favorite songs. 

I was not a fan of drummer Ashton Irwin’s solo album Superbloom. The album was certainly out of my comfort zone, so I did not enjoy it as much as I would have. The album was not terrible, it just wasn’t my thing in any sense of the word. In fact, I found it boring to listen to. 

Singer Luke Hemmings solo album, When Facing the Things We Turn Away From, I found, however, to be far better than Irwin’s. I enjoyed listening to the album from beginning to end; I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of 5 Seconds Of Summer. My favorite song off the album is called “Starting Line,” which has very profound, enjoyable lyrics. 

Another artist I listened to was Phoebe Bridgers. I listened to both of her studio albums, Punisher and Stranger In The Alps. She writes and sings in a similar vein to Taylor Swift, so I got a portion of my Taylor-fix from Phoebe. Phoebe is also featured on Taylor Swift’s new song “Nothing New,” which has to be one of Taylor and Phoebe’s best songs.

Bridger’s lyrics are incredibly deep; it is very important to have profound lyrics in a song, in my opinion. My favorite songs off the album are “ICU” and “I Know The End.” “I Know The End” is a powerhouse of a tune. The song starts off slow; the song then crescendos to be very loud and unexpected, which I think is a very cool musical technique. 

Another song I listened to is the song “7” by the British indie rock band Catfish And The Bottleman. I discovered that song because Louis Tomlinson, the former One Direction member, does a cover of that song on his tour. Because of this, this song is now one of my favorites. 

However, I did not make it through the week without somewhat of a listen to my preferred artists. I also continued to listen to those I regularly listen to; for example, One Direction and the members’ solo records, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Elish, Kacey Musgraves, Lorde, Ashe, and Conan Gray. 

With this said, I have to make a confession: I still prefer to listen to Taylor Swift overall. I have been a fan of Taylor Swift since I was five years old, so I grew up listening to her and watching her grow as an artist. She has experimented with three different genres of music throughout her nine album solo career; every one of those albums has a different vibe. 

For example, 1989 and Reputation, even though they fall into the same genre, have a  completely different mood throughout them. 1989 is far more upbeat, and chiefly focuses on Taylor’s themes of heartbreak, while Reputation is about falling in love with someone while the whole world hates you. 

I find Taylor’s songwriting to be remarkable. In her documentary, she said that she doesn’t think she would be where she is without her songwriting skills. In a similar vein, I don’t believe I would be where I am today without listening to Taylor.