It’s official, Taylor Swift has moved away from country music for her next album, which she calls her “first documented, official pop album.” Titled “1989” after the year of her birth, the album will be in stores Oct. 27.
In a Yahoo! livestream Monday afternoon, Taylor shared that the album was inspired by her deep dive into late-‘80s pop music. She said of that era, “I loved the chances they were taking, how bold it was, how ahead of its time. It was a time of limitless possibilities,” something that appealed to her since she said “endless possibility” has been a theme in the last year of her life, during which time she cut her long hair and moved from Nashville to New York.
Taylor said the new album is both the favorite one she’s ever made, and also “the most sonically cohesive.” In recent years, the singer has been caught between wanting to keep one foot in her country fan base while also branching out to explore pop sounds, something she apparently no longer feels compelled to do.
The new set has been two years in the making. That time, Taylor said, has given her a chance to change what influences and inspires her, resulting an an album she called “a rebirth.”
“My music changed,” she said simply. “I woke up every day I was recording this album wanting and needing to make a new style of music than I’d never made before,” she said of her shift away from her county roots.
Taylor debuted both the audio and video of the set’s uptempo first single, “Shake It Off,” during the livestream. Explaining the title, she said, “I’ve had to learn a pretty rough lesson in the last couple of years. People can say whatever they want about us and we can’t do anything about it.” She said she’s discovered that there are two options, “one is to let it control you,” the other is to “just shake it off.”
Like some of the tracks on her last album, 2012's "Red," Taylor produced “Shake it Off” with hot Swedish producers Max Martin and Johan Shellback.
In the funny music video (watch it in the media player above), Taylor is surrounded by professional dancers except at the very end when she dances with 100 fans, who kept the music video’s existence — and their participation in it — secret for two months. The video finds a self deprecating Taylor goofily dancing as a ballerina, a cheerleader, a hip hop dancer, a contemporary dancer and even a character that closely resembles Lady Gaga.
The deluxe version of the album will include three bonus tracks, but rather than additional songs, the tracks will be early work tapes of song ideas or fragments Taylor sang into her phone as voice memos. The finished versions of those same three songs will also be included on the album.
Taylor additionally revealed that all of the album art, including the minimalist cover, was shot with Polaroid cameras in keeping with the title theme. Physical copies of the album will be packaged with packs of Polaroid-style photos.