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Jack Antonoff Talks Writing Process Behind Taylor Swift’s ‘New Year’s Day’

Bleachers also performs “Alfie’s Song (Not So Typical Love Song)” on ‘Tonight Show’

BleachersJack Antonoff appeared on The Tonight Show Thursday speaking about writing Taylor Swift’s “New Year’s Day” and the uncertainty of the songwriting process.

“We wrote that song in a second, because we didn’t plan to write it. If you plan to write like a ballad or something like that, you always get a little bit less than you hopeful,” Antonoff said of the Reputation track. “We wrote that in and then the scratch take in my home, and then we played it.”

Discussing how to develop a simple melody into a great song, Antonoff used the example of Paul McCartney crafting the Beatles’ “Yesterday.” After McCartney dreamed up that song’s melody, he used lyrics revolving around “Scrambled Eggs” as a placeholder until “Yesterday” emerged. (Fallon and McCartney performed the “Scrambled Eggs” version of “Yesterday” on Late Night in 2010.)

“It’s the same way people sing better when they’re doing an impersonation. They’re not scared. So if you sing a goofy lyric, you might come up with a great melody,” Antonoff said.

Later in the show, Bleachers performed “Alfie’s Song (Not So Typical Love Song),” a track Antonoff co-wrote with Harry Styles for the Love, Simon soundtrack, with Antonoff’s father sitting in with the band.

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