Swift, 33, announced during her final Los Angeles stop of the Eras Tour in August that 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was on the way. The highly anticipated album arrived on Friday, October 27, with five new “From the Vault” tracks.
“I was born in 1989, reinvented for the first time in 2014, and a part of me was reclaimed in 2023 with the re-release of this album I love so dearly,” she wrote in a message shared via social media to celebrate the record. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the magic you would sprinkle on my life for so long.”
She continued: “This moment is a reflection of the woods we’ve wandered through and all this love between us still glowing in the darkest dark. I present to you, with gratitude and wild wonder, my version of 1989. It’s been waiting for you.”
The original edition of 1989 was released exactly nine years prior on October 27, 2014, and marked Swift’s biggest departure from her country roots. She collaborated with producer Jack Antonoff on three songs, including “Out of the Woods,” and Antonoff’s influence can be heard even more clearly on the rerecorded version. (The 2023 take on “Style” has some fans divided.)
‘Slut!’ (Taylor’s Version)
Before the album’s release, fans wondered whether “Slut!” would be an upbeat pop anthem or a devastating ballad — and they got the latter. Some listeners have dubbed it a partner to “Blank Space,” with its message centering on the public scrutiny surrounding Swift’s love life.
Fans have also theorized that Styles was the muse for this previously unheard track. “Everyone wants him, that was my crime / The wrong place at the right time,” she sings. “And I break down, then he’s pullin’ me in / In a world of boys, he’s a gentleman.”
In a voice memo shared via Tumblr Music on Friday, Swift explained that she “had to make some tough decisions” about whether to include “Slut!” or “Blank Space” on 1989‘s original track list. She described “Slut!” as a “really dreamy” tune that felt too California-inspired to fit on the NYC-centric 1989.
Say Don’t Go (Taylor’s Version)
Cowritten by Oscar nominee Diane Warren, the second vault track’s melody bares a striking resemblance to the fan favorite “Clean.” It echoes the same feelings of anxiety that Swift has said inspired original 1989 hit “Out of the Woods” — another song widely believed to be about her relationship with Styles.
“I’m standin’ on a tightrope alone / I hold my breath a little bit longer,” she sings. “Halfway out the door, but it won’t close / I’m holdin’ out hope for you to say, ‘Don’t go’ / I would stay forever if you say, ‘Don’t go.'”
Now That We Don’t Talk (Taylor’s Version)
Swift called “Now That We Don’t Talk” one of her “favorite songs that was left behind” in the original recording process. “I think it’s the shortest song I’ve ever had, but I think it packs a punch,” she said in a voice note of the vault track, which clocks in at just under two minutes and 30 seconds. “I think it makes its point.”
Another Antonoff collab, the song finds Swift watching as an ex moves on — and turning to her mom for support. “You grew your hair long / You got new icons / And from the outside it looks like you’re trying lives on,” she sings. (Styles famously grew out his hair around 2014, when 1989 was originally released.)
She continues: “I miss the old ways / You didn’t have to change / But I guess I don’t have a say / I call my mom, she says that it was for the best / Remind myself the more I gave, you’d want me less.”
Suburban Legends (Taylor’s Version)
Swift sings about a past love that received an excessive amount of attention, seemingly comparing her life in the spotlight to being in high school. “We were born to be national treasures / When you told me we’d get back together / And you kissed me in a way that’s gonna screw me up forever,” the lyrics read, later referencing “mismatched star signs” and a “class reunion.”
Many 1989 songs were penned while Swift was on her Red Tour in 2013, putting the focus on her relationships from the year prior. Styles is largely considered to be the inspiration, but some fans believe “national treasures” could be a clue about her 2012 fling with Conor Kennedy (grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy).
Listeners have also drawn comparisons to the Midnights songs “Mastermind” and “Midnight Rain.”
Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version)
In another voice note, Swift described the final 1989 vault song as “a sister” to “Out of the Woods” and “I Wish You Would.” Fans have already unpacked clues about her relationship with Styles (and their infamous snowmobile crash).
“If she’s got blue eyes, I will surmise that you’ll probably date her / You dream of my mouth before it called you a lying traitor / You search in every model’s bed for something greater,” she sings. (Styles was linked to model Paige Reifler after splitting from Swift, who fans believe is the “clone” Swift refers to elsewhere in the song.)
Swift also makes a nod to a “blue dress on a boat,” which some listeners think refers to a photo that went viral in 2013 of Swift sitting solemnly on a boat by herself in the Virgin Islands. (She and Styles reportedly got into a fight on the trip, prompting her to leave the getaway solo.)