After the slow but not at all subtle transition out of her early musical roots in Red, Taylor Swift readies to go full Pop with my TOTW, Out of the Woods – a promotional single in preparation for her fifth studio album, 1989 due out in a week.
In the chorus, Taylor repeatedly mummurs /are we out of the woods yet? are we in the clear yet?/ on top of an bed of intense synths contructed by Jack Antonoff, better known as one-third of the Grammy-winning band fun. and the man behind the critically acclaimed project Bleachers. With a helping hand from Max Martin on the vocal performance, the trio co-wrote and produced possibly the most unlikely Taylor Swift song.
In comparison to the teeny, almost juvenile Shake It Off, Out of the Woods offers a much more mature sound and cinematic lyrics – an old Polaroid, monster trees (Snow White, anyone?) and an automobile accident that leads to a tear-jerking hospital scene… It reminds me of the good ol’ Mary’s Song and Back to December moments when Taylor used to write not songs but stories that presented intense, vivid mental pictures.
Rumour has it the song is about her short-lived and sourly ended relationship with 1D’s Harry Styles but I say nevermind which of her many suitors this is directed at and take a moment to appreciate how this is so unexpectedly the perfect mix of Bleachers’ Indie vibes and Charli XCX’s signature anthemic beats!
According to Swift, this is “the greatest example of the sound of this album“… so I’m guessing it’s official: Taylor Swift is no longer a Country artist. I can’t say I’m unbothered by the directional shift in her artistry since I fell in love with Swift because she made Country cool but at this point, I’m just interested to see whether 1989 will still be nominated in any of the Grammy’s Country categories this year.