Originally co-written with Jack Antonoff, lead singer of pop outfit Fun — and boyfriend of Swift squad-member Lena Dunham — the song is about a rocky relationship that was always teetering on the brink of break up. The track is the fourth song on 1989, but was never released as its own single.
The video comes from Swift’s recent Q&A series, in partnership with The Grammy Museum, and features the singer/songwriter playing solo at a grand piano.
Her simple piano skills don’t exactly make the primarily guitar-based songstress the next Elton John by any means, but the reverb-laden vocals come out crisp and pure. Stripped down, Swift immediately appears to be something beyond that of a fame-created idol who can only play auto-tuned on massive stadium stages. The performance has a dramatic quality that makes it something more interesting than the version Swift released on the original record.
But then, the excellent songwriting underlining Taylor Swift’s pop hits is something that many in the musical world have known about for some time now. Singer/songwriter/alt-country luminary Ryan Adams proved that with his version of 1989, released in early October to much critical acclaim.
Swift seems to have the overwhelming support of the rest of the music world, as well. The star has featured whole-song cameos with seemingly every musician who matters, new and old, during this year’s 1989 World Tour — everyone from Beck to Ricky Martin got on board.
Her latest tour ends in December, and in a recent interview with NME the star hinted she may be taking a break from the spotlight to, “Hang out with my friends. Write new music. Maybe not write new music. I don’t know.”
Whatever she ends up doing, fans around the world are sure hoping to hear more stripped down performances like this one — the new video already has half a million views on YouTube.