Single Review: Taylor Swift - Out of the Woods | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Single Review: Taylor Swift – Out of the Woods

Taylor Swift has released her sixth and final single from her best-selling album, 1989.

Taylor Swift’s mesmerising new single ‘Out of the Woods’ is a wonderful ode to the decade that inspired her colossal fifth studio album 1989. Leading up to this point, Swift’s previous 1989 singles failed to evoke the signature synthpop sound synonymous with the ‘80s. ‘Out of the Woods’ continues to show Swift’s talent for creating a catchy hook with clever lyrics some of which include ‘the rest of the world was black and white / but we were in screaming colour’ and a reference to a ‘polaroid’ which delightfully wraps up one of the most successful album campaigns while also questioning the end of a relationship.

Not only are the lyrics one of the best aspects of the song, but so is the production.  Swedish pop mega producer Max Martin, who isn’t a stranger to massive synthpop tracks takes the helm alongside fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff, who also produced Swift’s similarly ‘80’s inspired soundtrack single ‘Sweeter Than Fiction’. The accompanying music video was filmed in New Zealand and fully captures ‘Out of the Wood’s’ theme of anxiety, by throwing Swift into an array of landscapes including snowy mountains, a barren forest and a pool of mud in which she must survive. Think a much tamer version of Leonardo DiCaprio’s film The Revenant.

The song’s instrumental becomes a character of its own with chattering, stomping percussion paired with dazzling electronic elements. Swift makes a similar statement about mystifying love as Madonna in her ‘80’s classic ‘Open Your Heart’. Both songs speak of earnest notions of boy meets girl, love and vulnerability. The chorus of ‘Out of the Woods’ is an explosive repetitive chant of the song’s title, which perfectly captures the unpredictability of a relationship, and Swift’s requisite to discover what happens next.


25th January 2016 at 6:00 pm

Last Updated

25th January 2016 at 6:01 pm

Images from

The Guardian