Taylor Swift mesmerizes fans with new songs ‘From The Vault’


Lily Myszak

My love for Taylor Swift and her music is “burning red.”

On June 30, 2019, it was announced that Taylor Swift’s discography would be sold to Ithaca Holding, owned by Scooter Braun, unbeknownst to Swift. Furious over the fact that her art had been sold without permission and no longer belonged to her, Swift decided to re-record her first six albums and label them all “Taylor’s Version.” Swift dropped her second re-recorded album, Red (Taylor’s Version) on November 12, 2021.

Along with the 16 standard tracks and five bonus tracks that fans were already familiar with from the original version of “Red,” Swift dropped nine tracks “From The Vault,” meaning that she had written them at the time that she wrote Red, but they were never released.

Swift started off her “From The Vault” tracks with “Better Man,” a song that she had written and then sold to a country band called Little Big Town. The song laments about wishing a past lover had been a better person, and mourning the loss of a future Swift thought she had with someone. Swift draws inspiration from her country roots for the instrumentation of this song, but also incorporates a beautiful orchestral sound as the song builds to the bridge and final chorus.

Following the trend of songs Swift sold to other artists, Swift also included “Babe,” a song she sold to another country group called Sugarland; Swift was also featured on the original version of the song with Sugarland. “Babe” has a distinctly more pop sound, but you can hear country influences in how the lyrics construct the story of the song. This song focuses on the story of a husband cheating on his wife, and Swift emphasizes this through the repeated mantra of the song about the promises of marriage.

What about your promises?

Three of Swift’s new songs featured other popular artists, the first of which was Phoebe Bridgers in the song “Nothing New.” This beautiful haunting song is much more subdued than most of the other vault songs, and has a much more mature feel to it as Swift and Bridgers explore the fears and confusions of transitioning into adulthood, and feeling like you’ve lost all of your novelty. The song includes introspective lyrics that make listeners of any age feel like they’re going through the complicated change from a teenager into an adult.

It’s like I can feel time moving/ How can a person know everything at eighteen/ But nothing at twenty-two?/ And will you still want me when I’m nothing new?

Another song featuring one of Swift’s popstar friends was “Run” with Ed Sheeran. Invoking a beautiful, autumnal feeling, Swift and Sheeran layer harmonies this song is the perfect song to listen to on a chilly fall walk. This ethereal song is a perfect combination of Swift’s detailed lyricism that was displayed on Red with her more peaceful, current sound.

Leaning into her pop side, “Message In A Bottle” is a perfect, upbeat song to get up and dance to. This song takes listeners back to 2012, and is reminiscent of songs like “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen and “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga.

Swift is well known for her beautiful metaphors and beautiful imagery in her lyrics, and “Forever Winter” is no exception. She describes herself as “summer sun” with her lover, but then says she’ll be “forever winter” if he leaves. The song is driven by an upbeat drum set that prevents the song from dragging and keeps the listener jamming out the whole time.

My personal favorite song that Swift dropped is “The Very First Night.” The dichotomy between the sad lyrics of the song, along with the poppy upbeat track behind the lyrics, makes for a song that may not seem complex on the first listen, but is for the close listener. “The Very First Night” is a song that I will keep on repeat for a very long time.

The last person that Swift featured in the “From The Vault” songs is Chris Stapelton on “I Bet You Think About Me.” Stapleton is a well known country singer, and his deep country twang is a perfect backup to Swift’s storytelling and clear vocals. On Nov. 15, Swift dropped a music video for “I Bet You Think About Me” directed by Blake Lively, featuring herself, Miles Teller and Keleigh Teller.

The most anticipated song that Swift dropped was “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” “All Too Well” is a song that was released on Red; Swift had originally written a 10 minute version that her fans begged her to release, since “All Too Well” is acclaimed as Swift’s most heartbreaking song and a fan favorite. This version seems to be more angry than sorrowful and features the most beautiful lyrics from the entire album.

They say all’s well that ends well, but I’m in a new hell/ Every time you double-cross my mind

This song is reflecting on a recent relationship that was rooted in a deep power imbalance between a young Swift and a much older partner, who made Swift feel inconsequential. Swift ends the song by wondering if she was the only one left hurting and asking “Did the love affair maim you too?”

In tandem with the release of “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” Swift directed and released a short film that featured exquisite visuals, and starred Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien as younger versions of herself and her ex boyfriend. Swift also dropped a “Sad Girl Autumn Version” of “All Too Well” on Nov 17.

Overall, Swift’s new songs are a beautiful bonus to an already exquisite album and make me even more excited to stream Red (Taylor’s Version) and any future albums that Swift may drop.