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sabrina carpenter and taylor swift
sabrina carpenter and taylor swift
Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Culture > Entertainment

Sabrina Carpenter’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” Cover Is A Full-Circle Swiftie Moment

Sabrina Carpenter got the coveted seal of approval from mentor Taylor Swift after releasing a stripped-down version of “I Knew You Were Trouble” for Spotify Singles. Carpenter released the single on Oct. 18, along with a stripped version of “Feather” from her album Emails I Can’t Send Fwd. Swift shared the original post announcing the singles on her Instagram Story, stating, “well she nailed it” with two clapping and hand-heart emojis.

Carpenter’s version of “I Knew You Were Trouble (IKYWT)” changes the EDM-inspired song to a soft, almost reminiscent ballad about the person that brought trouble into your life. She is able to create another layer of emotion with her voice. 

I have to say, when I originally saw Carpenter decided to cover “IKYWT” out of all of Swift’s songs, I didn’t really understand why. This might be a hot take, but “IKYWT” is probably one of my least favorite Swift songs, mostly because it is so far from Swift’s usual sound and got heavily memed when it was first released in 2012 (all I hear is the goat scream now). But I think Carpenter’s version shows how well the song is actually written. Where the original relies on the chorus for maximum impact, this cover celebrates all the verses, too. 

taylor swift\'s instagram story about sabrina carpenter\'s \
@taylorswift via Instagram Stories

“IKYWT” isn’t Carpenter’s first cover of a Swift song, either, and her decision to record another one acts as a full-circle moment for the star. Carpenter proved she was a real Swiftie when she posted a cover of “Picture to Burn” 14 years ago. The video is available on Carpenter’s official YouTube account to this day. The relationship between Carpenter and Swift started there and continues to grow since their first public meeting at the 2022 VMAs Republic Records afterparty. 

After finishing her own headlining tour earlier this year, Carpenter joined Swift’s Eras Tour in Latin America. In the Instagram announcement, Carpenter said the opportunity was a “dream come true” since she has been a life-long fan. The tour continues on Nov. 9 in Argentina. She will also be opening for Swift in Australia and Singapore in early 2024.

Carpenter’s Spotify Singles package also included a new version of “Feather.” This track is more similar to the original version than the cover of Swift’s “IKYWT.” Although the original version is more Ariana Grande pop, Carpenter’s warm and soft vocals in this new version make you feel as if she is over the person the song is about. Clearly, Carpenter makes any song she sings her own.

Shay Nicolay

Toronto MU '22

Shayna Nicolay has been a Her Campus National Writer since January 2023. She writes bi-weekly articles as well as covering timely content. She graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2022, where she majored in journalism with a minor in graphic communications. Shayna was a contributing writer for her University's Chapter of Her Campus, and was the Editor-in-Chief of her University magazine, Folio. She also was the editorial intern for fashion content creator, Audree Kate Lopez, where she hired and managed a group of writers, ran the WordPress website, wrote and edited articles, and helped with social media copy. Shayna loves walks in nature, bingeing the newest TV show, beading jewelry, and is a mental health advocate. She loves storytelling and media, so content creation comes naturally to her. For the best memes, mental health tips, and bisexual visibility, follow Shayna @shaynicolay on Instagram and @shaynanicolay on TikTok.