Singer Taylor Swift performs during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas
Singer Taylor Swift performs during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada Sept. 19, 2014. Steve Marcus—Reuters

Listen to Taylor Swift's Hypnotic New Song 'Out of the Woods'

Oct 13, 2014

Taylor Swift rang in her most recent album era with "Shake It Off," a cheerfully flip pop confection that reads as an act of defiance to everyone from the haters to country-radio programmers. For "Out of the Woods," the second offering from her upcoming LP 1989 (out Oct. 27), Swift's rebellion takes a slyer shape, and a darker one.

Swift wrote the song with fun.'s Jack Antonoff, and the sounds of his '80s-inspired solo project Bleachers reverberate here: a distorted vocal sample, crunchy drums, echoing harmonies. Lyrically, though, it's still classic Swift, capturing the anxiety of a volatile romance with poignant little details — there are paper airplanes flying, and Swift and her would-be-beau have to move the furniture so they can dance; and, of course, there's that much-discussed bridge about an accident that landed the unlucky couple in the hospital.

But it's the furious chant of that anthemic chorus, all breathless urgency, and the left-of-center production that help Swift perform the niftiest sleight of hand: Even with lyrics that include some of her most headline-grabbing autobiographical admissions to date, the most interesting thing here isn't who it's about, but rather, how different it sounds.

Listen here.

Read next: Taylor Swift Finally Explains Why She’s a Feminist and How Lena Dunham Helped

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