A musical sensation since the age of 16, Taylor Swift has spent the bulk of her life in the spotlight. While her career trajectory has never exactly been slow, Taylor’s early days as a budding country star were a far cry from her current position as Ultimate Pop Icon of the World and Millenial Overlord Supreme.
Impossibly talented and versatile as she is, Taylor is very much a product of her time. Sighting Fall Out Boy as the band who early on “influenced me, lyrically, maybe more than anyone else” as well as celebrating a long and active friendship with Paramore, she wears her aughts emo cred on her sleeve.
Swift’s deepest early connection to the swooped hair “scene” world was her creative partnership with Massachusetts pop-punkers Boys Like Girls. In a 2010 interview with ArtisanNewsService, frontman Martin Johnson said: “A couple years back, Taylor mentioned that one of her favorite songs at the moment was [BLG single] ‘Hero/Heroine’ in the Wall Street Journal when she was just first nominated for a Grammy.”
He continued: “I was obsessed with her record at that time. Her lyrical writing reminded me of how I wrote lyrics—off the cuff and like a journal, just really personal. I was inspired by that, and I was inspired by her record.”
Mutual admiration led Johnson and Swift to co-write the track ”You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home” for Miley Cyrus in the 2009 film Hannah Montana: The Movie.
From that point, Boys Like Girls drummer John Keef went on to play with the budding star on her Fearless LP.
The relationship didn’t end there, as Swift co-wrote and sang on the Boys Like Girls hit single, “Two Is Better Than One.”
“When it came time to do ‘Two Is Better Than One,’ it was missing this important element, and we couldn‘t figure it out,” remembered Johnson.
“We realized it was the female vocal because it’s the lyric ‘two is better than one’ thing. Of course, she was the first person who came to mind. It was a longshot because she’s the biggest superstar right now.”
A saccharine love song, the track peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, marking Boys Like Girls’ third top 40 on the chart as well as Swift’s twenty-first entry in the top 40.