It might be early January, but it’s never too early for some “Cruel Summer.” On Thursday, Teddy Swims visited BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, where he performed a cover of the Taylor Swift Lover favorite.
Swims started the rendition backed only by a piano as he whispered the opening lyrics, before being joined by a drum kit as he hit the high notes in the song’s chorus, and gave a soulful rendition of the song’s iconic bridge.
“Cruel Summer” had a huge 2023, four years after its initial release. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 back in October, and the track was a fan favorite in Swift’s Eras Tour set, going viral on TikTok.
Swift posted a reaction to the achievement on X at the time, alongside co-writer Jack Antonoff as they thanked their fans for pushing the song up the charts. Antonoff said “Cruel Summer” was “our favorite song from Lover,” adding that they thought it was “our secret best song.”
“We just wanted to say thank you so much for making ‘Cruel Summer’ a Hot 100 Number One, and it’s not even the summer anymore,” Swift said. “It’s deep Fall, I’m wearing a sweater, we love you guys.”
During Swims’ visit to BBC Radio 1, the artist also performed his song “Lose Control.” Earlier this week, Spotify named the musician one of the Pop Rising Artists to Watch.
Swims received acclaim for his debut album I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part 1), which features breakthrough single “Lose Control,” along with tracks “The Door” and “What More Can I Say.” He recently tapped Maren Morris for a remake of his track “Some Things I’ll Never Know.”
“I want people to come to me if they want to turn up, but I also want them to be able to listen to me and cry,” he told Rolling Stone back in 2021. “I want to be able to be an entire human, not just one feeling. I hope I can be perceived as such — that you can see every part of me and every part I struggle to integrate into everything I can.”
BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge has featured several covers in the last few months. Doja Cat covered Hiatus Kaiyote’s “Red Room,” Olivia Rodrigo sang Noah Kahan’s “Stick Season,” and Usher sang Daniel Caesar’s “Best Part” back in October.