At the strike of midnight on Tuesday, Taylor Swift delivered a gift to all the fans that pre-ordered the singer’s upcoming “straight-up pop” album 1989: A synthesizer-heavy new track titled “Out of the Woods.” The track was co-written with fun. and Bleachers rocker Jack Antonoff, and “Out of the Woods” shares many of the same musical characteristics of uplifting fun. tracks like “We Are Young” and “Carry On.” Max Martin also helped produce Swift’s vocal performance on the track. Her label, UMG, has been actively removing all YouTube rips, but the song can be heard here, as well as on various fan tumblrs.
By Swift’s own account, “Out of the Woods” will probably not be officially released as a single, but Swift tells USA Today that she wanted to share this track early because “I think it’s the greatest example of the sound of this album.” While Swift warned fans that 1989 would represent a new phase in her career, they likely didn’t expect something that sounds so electronic. “I used a Yamaha DX7 a lot on that song, which is so uniquely Eighties, but then countered it with a super-distorted Minimoog Voyager in the chorus,” Antonoff told USA Today about the track. “That sounds extremely modern to me. It’s that back-and-forth.”
The song is reportedly about Swift’s relationship with One Direction’s Harry Styles, and though she wouldn’t confirm the track was directly inspired by her time with Styles in her Rolling Stone cover story, she details a romance in which “every day was a struggle. Forget making plans for life – we were just trying to make it to next week.”
Swift also hinted that the “Out of the Woods” lyric “Remember when you hit the brakes too soon/Twenty stitches in a hospital room” was inspired by a real, top-secret incident where her and an ex were involved in a serious snowmobile accident that resulted in a hospital visit. While no record of the incident ever appeared in the tabloids, Swift insists that it happened. “You know what I’ve found works even better than an NDA?” said the singer. “Looking someone in the eye and saying, ‘Please don’t tell anyone about this.'”
“Out of the Woods” became available for download on iTunes soon after fans who preordered 1989 received the track, where it immediately shot to Number One on the songs chart, New York Times reports. The Times also notes that “Shake It Off” also ascended to Number One on the Billboard pop charts despite a cold-shouldering from country music radio stations. If country stations weren’t down with “Shake It Off,” they’re really going to have a hard time with “Out of the Woods.” 1989 is out on October 27th.