On Sunday, Adele dropped a preview of her 25 track “When We Were Young,” and today, the singer has unveiled the full track. This version of the song was filmed live at Church Studios, where much of 25 was recorded.
“Let me photograph you in this light / In case it is the last time / That we might be exactly as were before we realize / We were sad about getting / It made us restless / It was just like a movie / It was just like a song,” Adele sings on the reflective ballad about people looking back at their life, with and without each other. Like “Hello,” the piano-laden track starts slowly and sparsely before its march towards a timeless, unforgettable chorus that showcases Adele’s unmistakable vocal powers.
“It was based on us being older, and being at a party at this house, and seeing everyone that you’ve ever fallen out with, everyone that you’ve ever loved, everyone that you’ve never loved, and stuff like that, where you can’t find the time to be in each other’s lives,” Adele told SiriusXM of the track, which was co-written by Tobias Jesso Jr. “And you’re all thrown together at this party when you’re like 50, and it doesn’t matter and you have so much fun and you feel like you’re 15 again. So that’s the kind of vibe of it really.”
Jesso spoke to Rolling Stone about the nostalgic track and working with Adele. “It’s impossible to question why she’s where she is once you sit down with her to write a song,” Jesso told Rolling Stone. “She was the first introduction I had to somebody who could sing words on the spot that were actually great.”
After the song’s powerful finale, once “When We Were Young” at Church Studios winds down, Adele realizes that she has removed the microphone from its stand while singing. “I’ve never done that before in my life,” Adele says. “It’s a whole new me.” 25 arrives November 20th.