Written by: Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff
Produced by: Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff
UK release: October 2014
UK chart peak: 136
I was on my way to work one morning when I first heard this song. In fact I’ll tell you where I was specifically! I was on the platform of Shoreditch High Street station! And it really made me TAKE PAUSE, you know? This – the first “promotional single” from 1989, released a few weeks after the divisive Shake It Off – was the first taste we got of Taylor Swift hitting her full synthpop potential. And CHRIST it’s good.
Despite lyrics that hone-in on specific detail (“Remember when you hit the brakes too soon, twenty stitches in a hospital room”), Out Of The Woods feels universal. It’s that horrible, anxiety-ridden feeling of not knowing if a relationship is coming or going; and thanks to a perfect combination of honest songwriting and chaotic, bombastic production, it’s veeeeery affecting.
What’s more, I really think this song provides one of the best ever examples of smart repetition in pop. The layered chanting of the chorus is what really delivers the angsty gut-punch; and although the almighty finale is only really made up of a handful of different words, it is a devastatingly perfect minute of pop music.