St. Vincent Says She’s ‘Blown Away’ by Delayed Success of Taylor Swift’s ‘Cruel Summer’

St. Vincent Says She’s ‘Blown Away’ by Delayed Success of Taylor Swift’s ‘Cruel Summer’

St. Vincent still isn’t over how impressive the fan love is surrounding Taylor Swift‘s “Cruel Summer.”

Eight months after the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — where it reigned for four weeks, a full four years after it was originally released on 2019’s Lover — the singer-songwriter born Annie Clark opened up about its delayed success in her Billboard digital cover story published Monday (June 17).

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“I remain blown away by ‘Cruel Summer’ being the phenomenon that is it,” she said. “Not because it isn’t a great song. It’s indicative of the time we’re in, where a song from many albums ago, that wasn’t even a single at the time, the fans go, ‘No, this one — we pick this one.’ And then they march it up the charts.”

Clark added, “That’s completely a testament to her fan base being so powerful.”

Shortly after “Cruel Summer” reached the summit, Swift and the track’s other co-writer, Jack Antonoff, celebrated the unexpected feat on social media. “The song that we said was the best song, but we thought, ‘Oh, you know what? This will be our secret best song.’ That’s what we thought,” the producer said in an Instagram video at the time, before the pop star chimed in. “We just wanted to say thank you so much for making ‘Cruel Summer’ a Hot 100 No. 1, and it’s not even summer anymore,” Swift said at the time. “It’s deep fall, I’m wearing a sweater.”

Now fresh off the release of her own seventh studio album All Born Screaming, St. Vincent also spoke to Billboard about her identity as a queer artist in the Pride Month issue. “Every record I’ve ever made has been so personal about what’s going on in my life at any given time,” she said. “I’m queer. I know how to code-switch. The idea of identity as performance has been very clear to me since I was a child.”

“I’m queer, I’m living in multitudes,” she added. “But this record in particular is not about persona or deconstruction.”

Read the full cover story here.