"I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally," Albarn tweeted Monday in reply to Swift calling him out on the social media platform. "The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand."
He also said his remarks, which were made in "a conversation about songwriting," were "sadly… reduced to clickbait."
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images; Cindy Ord/Getty Images Taylor Swift and Damon Albarn
Albarn's initial comments came in a wide-ranging interview with the Los Angeles Times published Sunday, in which the paper asked whether he thought "a lot of modern musicians are relying on sound and attitude" and he said he did. The Times' Mikael Wood then offered Swift as an example of "an excellent songwriter," which prompted Albarn's slight.
Albarn then elaborated that co-writing songs "doesn't count." He continued: "I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I'm not hating on anybody, I'm just saying there's a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn't mean that the outcome can't be really great. And some of the greatest singers — I mean, Ella Fitzgerald never wrote a song in her life. When I sing, I have to close my eyes and just be in there. I suppose I'm a traditionalist in that sense. A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother [Finneas]. I'm more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It's just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she's exceptional."
I totally agree with you. i had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait. I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand. - Damon
— Damon Albarn (@Damonalbarn) January 24, 2022
Swift, who is credited as a writer or co-writer on all her songs and who is listed as sole writer on her third album, Speak Now, addressed Albarn's comments Monday on social media. Tagging him in a tweet, she wrote, "I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don't have to like my songs but it's really f---ed up to try and discredit my writing. WOW."
In a follow-up tweet, she added, "PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering."
Albarn's apology came shortly after.
A representative for Swift did not immediately respond to EW's request for further comment; reps for Albarn declined further comment.