Jack Antonoff’s Mission transforming Taylor Swift into the bleachers is almost complete. The close collaborator of the singer joined her on a new arrangement of Midnights single “Anti-Hero,” this time bringing his band into the fold for a conversational, dual-perspective rendition that channels the production style that Antonoff usually records for his own recording sessions.
“Jack’s version of ‘sexy baby’ is ‘art bro’ and we sincerely hope it confuses as many people,” Swift wrote on Twitter, announcing the remix which was originally only available for purchase on its official online store before arriving at streaming services a few hours later.
Antonoff completely overhauls the second verse of the song, which originally featured Swift lamenting feeling like a freak on a hill in a world full of sexy babes. “I feel like everybody’s an art bro lately / And I’m just judging ’em over the hill,” he sings. “Too hurt to hang around, talk your famous baby shit / Pierced to the core of 90s guilt / Maybe I’m the problem, it’s me.”
When Swift points out her own secret narcissism, her close friend is there to reassure her, noting, “Taylor, you’ll be fine,” in a brief pocket of space below the pre-chorus.
Bleacher’s take on “Anti-Hero” is made up of layered harmonies and shimmering synths. For the recording, Antonoff brought in his entire live band, consisting of Evan Smith, Mikey Hart, Sean Hutchinson, Mike Riddleberger and Zem Audu.
Swift and Antonoff began their longtime collaborative partnership in 2014, but had yet to properly share space as vocalists in the same way he did with projects like Terrible Thrills, Vol. 2, which features all-female musicians reimagining the tracklist from Bleachers’ debut album Strange desire.
“It can be a bit crazy,” said Antonoff rolling stone last year on both sides of his creative endeavors – the huge pop hits and the alternative rock band where he spreads his own ideas. “At all levels of my hopes and dreams, Bleachers is a huge group. But I make records with people who are on a whole other level of huge.
He later added, “My creative relationship with [Taylor] feels a bit limitless. I don’t work with a large list of people. So these are quite special creative relationships. And that’s obviously a big problem.