Taylor Swift Unveils 3 Curated Playlists: ‘Quill,’ ‘Fountain’ & ‘Glitter Gel’ Pen Songs

Taylor Swift revealed a detail about her writing process in September: She categorizes each of her songs as having “Fountain Pen,” “Quill Pen” or “Glitter Gel Pen” lyrics. And now, one week ahead of the release of her new album Midnights, the pop star has teamed up with Apple Music to unveil three playlists that reveal which of those uniquely specific groupings are home to a handful of her tracks — from songs on Fearless (Taylor’s Version) to Evermore.

Announced Friday (Oct. 14), Apple’s playlists are titled after Swift’s three “Pen” groupings, something she opened up about while accepting the Songwriter-Artist of the Decade honor at the Nashville Songwriter Awards. “I came up with these categories based on what writing tool I imagine having in my hand when I scribbled it down, figuratively,” she’d said in her speech. “I don’t actually have a quill. Anymore. I broke it once when I was mad.”


Each of the playlists begin with a personal audio message recorded by the 11-time Grammy winner herself, followed by anywhere from 11 to 18 songs spanning her past three albums — Lover, Folklore and Evermore — and her two rerecorded albums, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version). The longest of the playlists is Swift’s “Fountain Pen Songs,” which include modern lyrics full of familiar references and vivid imagery, according to Apple’s description (think “All Too Well,” “Lover,” “Champagne Problems,” etc.).

“Most of my lyrics are ‘Fountain Pen’ lyrics,” Swift said in a statement with Apple. “They’re modern personal stories, written like poetry, about those moments you remember all too well where you can see, hear, and feel everything in screaming detail.”

Songs such as “Willow,” “Red” and “Carolina” — which she composed for the July film Where the Crawdads Sing — make up the “Quill Pen” playlist, while the “Glitter Gel Pen” lineup features bouncier tracks including “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “You Need to Calm Down” and “You Belong With Me.”

“Glitter Gel Pen songs have lyrics that make you want to dance, sing and toss glitter around the room,” Swift continued. “They remind you not to take yourself too seriously, which is something we all need to hear these days. Quill Pen songs are songs with lyrics that make you feel all old fashioned, like you’re a 19th century poet crafting your next sonnet by candlelight.”

Listen to her three playlists below:

Hannah Dailey