Taylor Swift surprised fans on Monday evening with the announcement that she'll release a new album, Red, on October 22nd – her first LP since 2010's Speak Now. The singer-songwriter revealed the news during a live chat with fans, during which she previewed her new single and spoke about her inspiration for the record.
"I wrote a song called 'Red,'" said Swift. "Thinking about what that means to me and all the different emotions that are written about on this album, they're all pretty much about the kind of tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships that I've experienced in the last two years . . . There's nothing beige about any of those feelings, so I called the record Red."
During the YouTube session, which at one point had an audience of over 70,000 viewers, Swift played Red's first single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," a pop-leaning tune with lyrics that adamantly assert the end of her relationship with a recent, unnamed beau (the song's reference to "an indie record that's much cooler than mine" suggests John Mayer as a possible suspect). "It's a really romantic song," she said sarcastically of the tune, which went on sale via iTunes and Google Play immediately after the chat.
Swift also mentioned that Red will have 16 tracks and feature several co-writes – including a duet with Englishman Ed Sheeran, who performed during last night's Olympics closing ceremony, and some collaborating with Swedish hit maestro Max Martin. "Ed and I wrote a song while sitting on a trampoline that was so much fun and we loved so much that we actually ended up recording it as a duet," said Swift. "Speak Now, I wrote it completely on my own and I didn't have any co-writers and you know, that was an amazing way to make a record and I was really proud of it. But when it came to approaching this album I really wanted to go back to the drawing board and think about a different way to approach it. And so I just thought, 'Why not call all of my songwriting, producing and artist heroes and see if they want to work together, and just make the call and see? When I did that, I got the opportunity to work with some of my absolute favorite people in music. This album is full of co-writes and it's full of different people producing different things, and it's got a lot of collaborations going on . . . I'm so excited to for you to hear the new direction of things."
Since releasing Speak Now, Swift has kept busy by embarking on a world tour that lasted more than a year. She has also contributed two tracks to The Hunger Games soundtrack and lent her vocals to the recent B.o.B. single "Both of Us."
Watch Swift's live chat below (beginning at the 55:00 mark):