The Washington Post

Taylor Swift announces first pop album ‘1989,’ releases new single and music video

Taylor Swift released the first single from her upcoming fifth studio album "1989." The new single, "Shake It Off," is just a taste of what Swift is promoting as her first official pop album. (Reuters)

Taylor Swift will release her first official pop album this fall, the singer announced on a worldwide Yahoo! livestream on Monday afternoon. Called “1989” after the year Swift was born, it will hit stores on Oct. 27.

Swift, seated in a small studio with a group of screaming fans, made the announcement and then played the first single off the record, a wildly upbeat song called “Shake It Off.” Essentially, it’s inspired by people who write anything they want about her because she’s an international celebrity. (The video is below — the song will be lodged in your head for weeks.)

The message of the song: Sorry, haters, I’m just going ignore you and dance. Sure enough, Swift got up and manically danced with her audience as the bouncy tune blasted out of the speakers.

After the dance party, a slightly out-of-breath Swift confirmed she collaborated with superstar producers Max Martin and Shellback on the track — the duo also produced her previous songs including “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “22” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.”

Swift, who bids the country genre goodbye for the time being, said this record is “the most sonically cohesive album we’ve ever made” and her favorite record yet. The project is influenced by late-’80s pop and what that time period meant to the culture, she explained.

(Screengrab from Yahoo livestream) Swift’s album cover. (Screengrab from Yahoo livestream)

“It was apparently a time of just limitless potential and the idea that you can do what you want, be who you want, wear what you want, love who you want and you get to decide where your life is going,” Swift said. “Bright colors, bold chances, rebellion. The idea of that was so inspiring to me — and the idea of endless possibility was a theme in the last year of my life.”

The singer also showed off the music video to her captivated audience. The video, directed by Mark Romanek, features Swift kicking around with professional dancers, trying out everything from ballet to cheerleading — she said the whole thing is metaphor about how you can truly tell a lot about people when you see how they dance.

And yes — there is twerking.

So, how will Nashville feel about this, given that’s where Swift launched her career? Scott Borchetta, president of Swift’s label Big Machine Records, confirmed to Rolling Stone earlier this year that Martin has a big presence on the new tunes and put it bluntly.

“Will country stations play a complete pop song just because it’s her? No,” Borchetta said. “But when she comes to town, her friends at country radio will come and see her.”

Plus, he added the most important element: “Taylor fans are going to love it.”

Swift certainly likes to stick to a meticulous music schedule. Since her self-titled debut in 2006, she has a released an album — like clockwork — every two years in the fall. Her last effort, “Red” (October 2012) sold about 1.2 million copies in its first week; it was preceded by “Speak Now” (October 2010) and “Fearless” (November 2008), which each sold millions of copies worldwide.

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
Play Videos
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Learn to make this twice-baked cookie
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
Play Videos
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
The art of tortilla-making
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Cool off with sno-balls, a New Orleans treat
Next Story
Natalie Jennings and Jhaan Elker · August 18, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.