Oh, Taylor Swift – she never changes, she only gets better at doing her. Last night the pop-country darling held a fireside chat, live in Nashville and worldwide via YouTube, to talk about her much anticipated Speak Now follow-up and to preview her new single. “I have wanted to tell you so many things for so long, so I figured I’d just tell you them all, right now,” she gushed, before spilling the good news and answering questions from fans. Here is what we now know:
- The Basics: This fourth album is called Red, and it drops October 22nd. Below, the album cover.
- How many songs are there? It’s 16 songs long — which, she’ll remind, is long for a pop album! — not including bonus tracks, culled down from the “30 or 35″ she had written. (Speak Now was 14 songs long, and Fearless had 19 — Taylor has never been short on things to say.)
- What “red” means to Taylor: “tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships;” “all those emotions fanning from intense love, intense frustration, intense jealousy, confusion.” And so, why Red? As she says, “there’s nothing beige about those feelings and so I called my record that.”
- Per usual, she was inspired by love and haunted by heartbreak. “I tend to skew in the direction of writing songs about love-related things, relationship and feeling related things, that’s where I naturally go,” she explained. “I ended up being inspired by a lot of zero-to-100 then it hits a wall and explodes-type relationships, which are so fun to write about, really dysfunctional and not good generally but when you write about them it gives you a lot of inspiration.” The selfish listener must thank, then, Taylor and all her brave boyfriend’s for their sacrifices.
- And like always, she won’t name names: “I’m trying not to be too cryptic with it, but I’m also not trying to give it all away,” she says.
- The names she’s willing to give: Unlike Speak Now, which she wrote alone, Taylor got help from “all my song writing and producing artist heroes” this time around, including her old friend Ed Sheeran and the Swedish hit maker Max Martin. “I’m so excited to for you to hear the new direction of things,” she says.
- There will be a tour, “a lot of traveling, all over everywhere.” Taylor Swift season is upon us!
- And then there is that new single, the “really really romantic song” written for her “lovely ex-boyfriend,” which she previewed during the chat and released to iTunes afterwards. Just as the title suggests, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” finds Taylor swearing off a rotten love. “I say, ‘I hate you,’ we break up, you call me, I love you,” she sings in full pop-mode, scorned but in control because this is her song and things will be as she wishes them to be. It’s a little stomp-y and full of cheeky fun. There are cute little spoken-word asides, soaring “we-eeee!”‘s, and a funny bit where she makes fun of her indie-snob ex and whichever “indie record that’s much cooler than mine” he might be seeking solace in. She is really getting good at this.