It has been exactly one year since Taylor Swift unleashed the pop dominance of 1989. (Read how we, and plenty of other people, reacted here and here, respectively.) The album ruled Billboard’s 200 chart for roughly one-fifth of a year, held steady in its top ten for a full year, and led to some of this year’s wackiest and wildest music videos. Not a bad year! In honor of all that, Swift, along with the Grammy Museum, today shared this stripped-down performance of “Out of the Woods,” which capped her mini-concert and exhibit held there last month.
“I’m going to play you a song that I wrote about a relationship that I was in that the number one feeling I felt in the whole relationship was anxiety, because it felt very fragile, it felt very tentative,” Swift reveals before playing the song’s piano arrangement, which fittingly pairs the original version’s intensity with the newfound uneasiness she cites. “A lot of relationships can be very solid and that’s kind of what you hope for: solid and healthy. But that’s not what you always get. It doesn’t mean that it’s not special and extraordinary, just to have a relationship that’s fragile and somehow meaningful in that fragility.”