Taylor Swift’s “1989” has been out for a whole year, and to celebrate the anniversary of its release, Swift released a video from late September of her performance of one of the album’s tracks, “Out of the Woods,” at the Grammy Museum.
Before she begins performing, Swift takes a moment to explain the inspiration behind the song, which she wrote with Jack Antonoff of Fun (also known as Lena Dunham’s boyfriend).
The song was based on a relationship “that the number one feeling I felt was anxiety,” she says, wondering “how long do we have before this turns into an awful mess.” Speculation has suggested that the song could be about the singer’s brief relationship with fellow pop star Harry Styles.
Swift’s performance is quiet, plaintive, and really sells the anxious, swirling emotions in the lyrics. It’s the polar opposite of her tour performances over the last few months. No huge, screaming crowds, no choreography, and no special guests from her endless squad.
And Swift even played the part of solo artiste with a plain black turtleneck, letting everything but her voice blend into the background.
It’s been a whole year of “1989,” but somehow new ways of hearing Swift’s songs still make them feel fresh.