This article originally appeared on Noisey US.
Taylor Swift has always prized being #relatable ever since the release of 1989 those many, many years ago. Back then, that meant sunny Polaroid visuals and the general warm feelings that come with having enough money and clout to purchase a Coachella VIP pass. But that was then and this is now, and the relatable vibe of 2017 is tech-terror as our worst dystopian parables seem close to coming true. Taylor gets this, so she's worked with the ever-ambitous director Joseph Kahn to pull off this full aesthetic pivot to the new normal. Her new video for "...Ready for It?" is not so much a pop music experience as much as it is a sci-fi dweeb's fever dream. This is to say that me, the aforementioned dweeb, is having a grand old time with this clip, but just how nerdy is it, really? Let's investigate.
The obvious touchstone that many have pointed out is that regrettable Ghost in the Shell remake from this year but it's much deeper than that. First and foremost is that this video is cyberpunk as fuck. If you need a primer, cyberpunk is the sci-fi/film noir mashup subgenre where everyone is a cyborg antihero, corporations rule the world, and every location looks like Tokyo or Hong Kong on a dreary night.
East Asian characters on signs? Rain-slicked streets? A faint neon glow covering everything? We're here, baby. Ridley Scott and William Gibson would be proud. But alas, this represents the peak of the aesthetic as well. Pack it up, nerds, cyberpunk is no longer cool now.
Yo, I love Destiny 2. Definitely an improvement on Bungie's original ideas. Good to know that Taylor's a big gamer.
The horse is probably a reference to the unicorn dream from the OG Blade Runner but really I think it's a shout out to Rae Sremmurd and "Perplexing Pegasus."
Okay, yeah, so shooting lightning out of one's hands like Emperor Palpatine is playing the "everyone thinks I'm a villain" angle pretty hard, IMO.
And then, at last, Android Taylor assumes a Jesus pose like Neo at the end of the final, laborious Matrix film as she defeats the bad guys, I guess? Were there villains at all in this video? Perhaps "good" and "evil" are irrelevant concepts if these are all machines mimicking humans anyways.
This clip was probably expensive as shit and it looks objectively incredible. Shouts to Joseph Kahn for really going hard on those effects shots. However, Taylor is definitely a huge geek for going along with it. Taylor Swift has shown herself to be the hugest nerd and in all honesty, I still can't believe we're in the midst of a sci-fi heavy pop culture moment so potent that the world's former biggest pop star decided to jump on. The "...Ready for It?" video is way above. Watch it and embrace your dreams, maybe? Yeah, that's the best message to take away from this.
Phil is on Twitter and jacked the fuck in.