Are Taylor Swift’s new album editions a dig at Billie Eilish? Some fans think so

Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish

Taylor Swift has dropped three surprise editions of her latest album on the same day as Billie Eilish’s Hit Me Hard and Soft, hits the streets – just weeks after the latter called artists repackaging records “irritating”.

Speaking to Billboard in March, Eilish, who released her third studio album today (May 17), which contains lesbian anthem “Lunch”, expressed her frustration at artists who produce several variations of the same album and sell them individually.

“We live in this day and age where, for some reason, it’s very important to some artists to make all sorts of different vinyl and packaging… which ups the sales and ups the numbers and gets them more money,” Eilish said.

“Some of the biggest artists in the world [are] making f***ing 40 different vinyl packages that have a different unique thing just to get you to keep buying more. It’s so wasteful.”

Eilish later clarified that she wasn’t talking about Swift, writing on Instagram: “I wasn’t singling anyone out, these are industry-wide systemic issues, and when it comes to variants, so many artists release them, including me, which I clearly state in the article.”

But fans think the issue hasn’t been settled yet, pointing out that Swift has released three such editions of her latest record albums on the same day as Eilish’s new album.

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Swift released The Tortured Poets Department in April, preceding its drop with four limited-edition vinyls/cassettes/CDs, each with a different “exclusive track”. However, the singer then announced a surprise double album called The Anthology, comprising 31 songs – four of which were the “exclusive” tracks.

She has now announced another three versions of Tortured Poets. Each of the (digital) albums comes with a “first-draft phone memo” version of “Cassandra”, “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” or “The Black Dog”.

This additional release on the same as Eilish’s critically acclaimed album has prompted fans to call out Swift.

“I loved Taylor Swift but this is not done. So bad of her for trying to block young artists like Billie Eilish,” one wrote.

Another said: “Doing this on her album release day is so nasty,” and a third wrote: “The same day as Billie’s release… and y’all swear that Taylor is a girl’s girl.”

Many other listeners have been quick to point out that Swift and Eilish have had a long friendship in the past, and that pitting the pair against each other is artificially manufactured.

 Hit Me Hard and Soft is available to stream now.

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