I, along with many others on the internet, was a little thrown off when Taylor Swift’s iconic voice memos didn’t start playing after “New Romantics” as I listened to 1989 (Taylor’s Version) for the first time. The album dropped on Oct. 27, and it includes five “From The Vault” songs, which Swift gave more background on in her voice memos on Tumblr. Over the years, such voice memos have become a staple for Swift, allowing her to give fans a more in-depth glimpse into her songwriting process. The original 1989 album’s deluxe version contained three such recordings for “I Wish You Would,” “I Know Places,” and “Blank Space.” To continue the tradition, Swift made similar voice memos for “Is It Over Now?” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” and “Slut!” where she spilled so much tea.
1989 (Taylor’s Version) is the fourth album that Swift re-recorded, in an effort to reclaim the masters of her first six albums. Voice memos aren’t the only staple of the 1989 era that she’s bringing back — the CDs contain collectible polaroids, she teased handwritten lyrics on Instagram, and hopefully, these voice memos won’t be the only time she returns to Tumblr! It truly feels like it’s 2014 again, which makes me that much more excited to deep-dive into the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) voice memos.
“Is It Over Now?” Voice Memo
Swift revealed that she deliberately placed this track at the end of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) to beg the question “is the album over now?” This means she’s probably seen the triple album theories. She further described “Is It Over Now?” as a sister song to “Out Of The Woods” and “I Wish You Would,” and it wasn’t easy for her to leave this one out of 1989. Swift especially loves the line, “Let’s fast forward to 300 takeout coffees later,” because she can’t help but headbang to it.
“NOW THAT WE DON’T TALK” VOICE MEMO
This gem was one of Swift’s “favorite songs that was left behind,” but in this case, time was not on Swift’s side. She wrote this song towards the end of the creative process of 1989, and couldn’t get the production right before she had to submit the album. However, for 1989 (Taylor’s Version), she didn’t have to rush the production process like she did back then. Despite its short length, Swift thinks that it “packs a punch,” and I have to agree.
“SLUT!” VOICE MEMO
Swift aimed to “cheekily play on the discussions at that time of [her] life around [her] dating life” with “Slut!” She took a similar approach to “Blank Space,” which satirizes the media’s negative portrayal of her as a serial dater. “Blank Space” became the second single off of 1989, but “Slut!” got cut. Plus, Swift has always seen 1989 as a “New York album,” but thinks of “Slut!” as a dreamy California track. That said, Swift has “always been proud of [this song] and always wanted it to come out into the world,” which is happening now!