Taylor Swift has debuted the second offering, and first promo single, from upcoming album 1989. And it definitely doesn't disappoint!
Much has been made of 'Out of the Woods' since a reference to it in this month's copy of Rolling Stone, where Taylor mentioned that the track was inspired by a snowmobile accident which left her and ex-boyfriend Harry Styles in the emergency room. Speaking of how she managed to avoid press commentary on her brief visit to hospital, Swift said: "You know what I've found works even better than an NDA? Looking someone in the eye and saying, 'Please don't tell anyone about this.'"
Impressively, the story about the tracks inspiration turns out to be the least amazing thing about this song. Harshly autobiographical lyrics like "Your necklace hanging from my neck/The night we couldn’t quite forget/When we decided/To move the furniture so we could dance/Baby, like we stood a chance" in the verses contrast stunningly with the prayer-like incantation of "Are we out of the woods yet?/Are we in the clear yet?" recited by Taylor during choruses. The build-up in the verses is actually a little lacklustre, despite the amazing lyrics - but that just makes the ultimate breakthrough of the chorus shine a million times brighter. Produced by Jack Antonoff, the song continues the vintage theme of the 1989 album with some hazy, dream-like background vocals and strong percussion which is the trademark of Antonoff's band fun.
The song marks not only a huge departure from Swift's past work in country (it's apparent with this release that the girl who sang 'Love Story' and 'Mine' is pretty much gone for good), but also a move away from the super fun, poppy vibe of 'Shake It Off'. While this leaves the sonic and thematic themes of Swift's upcoming album in crisis, one thing's for sure: it's with this upcoming album that Swift will make or break her transition to pop and prove just what she's capable of artistically. And we can't wait.
Listen to 'Out of the Woods' below and let us know what you think in the comments section below!
- This song is amazing.
- The background vocals during the bridge sound like 'Hakuna Matata'. THAT'S AWESOME.
- It's a bit of a shame that Taylor's relied so much on a certain ex-boyfriend to publicize this song rather than letting the amazing product do the talking itself.