Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift is already gearing up for her 2020 tour for her new album, Lover. She performed an NPR Tiny Desk concert this month, and it’s now available to listen to. But if you want the highlights, we’ve got them right here.
Every song on ‘Lover’ was written this way
“Tiny Desk is one of my favorite corners of the internet,” Swift said. “It’s an opportunity for artists to decide a different way to showcase their music. You’re kind of inundated by opportunity. I just decided to take this as an opportunity to show you guys how the songs sounded when I first wrote them.”
“I have this album that just came out. It’s called Lover,” she said to cheers. “Real happy you like it! It’s one of those albums where I wrote everything on one instrument first. So it’s really fun to pick songs to do acoustically because they all started out that way.”
Swift has wanted to write ‘The Man’ for a long time
“There’s a song that I had wanted to write conceptually for a very long time,” Swift began after her intro. “Because over the course of my life, it has occurred to me that we have a bit of a double-standard issue in our society. It’s something I’ve thought about about 700 million times a day for the last ten years of my life.”
She continued. “I was always just wondering, ‘Can I write a song about this? Is there a concise and catchy way to write a song about this? What angle would I take if I were to write a song about this?’ And so I decided the most fun thing to do would be to imagine what my life would be like and what people would say about my life if I did all the same things, but I was a man.”
Her favorite line in ‘Lover’
Swift said that the title track, “Lover,” came to her “in the middle of the night,” adding, “I got this idea and the song just happened really quickly.” She also spoke about her favorite line from the bridge of the song: “With every guitar string scar on my hand / I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover.”
“I took that as a metaphor for the times when I was learning to play guitar and I’d play until my fingers bled and I still have those marks from that,” she continued. “Or all the times I’d be changing a string and it would pop and I still have scars from that. But it’s also a bigger metaphor for that, in life, you accumulate scars, you accumulate hurt, you accumulate moments of learning and disappointment and struggle. And if someone’s going to take your hand, they better take your hand scars and all.”
Swift’s solution to one problem
Switching back to the guitar, Swift took off her jacket and took a seat, speaking about a question she’s been asked repeatedly: “What will you ever do if you get happy? What will you write about?” She would respond that she’d take inspiration from TV and movies and books.
And as it turns out, that’s exactly what she’s done. Now that Swift is in a happy and stable relationship with Joe Alwyn, she was able to use movies like Someone Great and the breakups of her friends to inspire the song “Death by a Thousand Cuts.”