Today’s the day (October 16). Taylor Swift‘s concert for NPR’s Tiny Desk is now out, so the opportunity to immerse yourself in nearly thirty minutes of acoustic songs from both Lover and Red is finally here. There were no backup musicians, just Taylor, a piano, and the guitar. It was nostalgic, magical, and breath-taking.
It started with Taylor’s very anti-pastel suit. She made white and burgundy plaid the definitive fall trend to follow as she introduced herself to the crowd of more than 300 guests packed into the tiny space. After a humble and sheepish greeting, she thanked fans for liking her new album, Lover, and revealed that she’d be performing acoustic versions of the songs. “It’s one of those albums where I wrote everything on one instrument first so it’s really fun to pick songs to do acoustically because they all started out that way,” she said.
She kicked things off with “The Man“, but not before an important introduction. “It’s a song that I’ve wanted to write conceptually for a very long time,” she started. “We have a bit of a double standard in our society. It’s something that I’ve thought about 700 million times a day for the last ten years of my life. She then launched into “The Man” with such gripping, sunny energy as the crowd sang along (in this Tiny Desk, you can actually hear them at certain points).
Afterward, she headed over to a piano to play “Lover.” “As soon as I wrote it, I knew it would be the title track,” she said. She then went on to explain the process of creating songs and how it’s harder on some days as opposed to others. With “Lover” though, she was ready to pull the idea out of her brain and apply it musically. You could hear it in her soft timbre as she played the tune live in mesmerizing fashion, her voice radiating through the hall as the song crescendoed in the chorus.
After finishing the song, she took off her white and burgundy plaid suit jacket to reveal a lush burgundy sweater. It was shiny and somehow luxurious, practically blinding, and even more confirmation that burgundy is the color of this fall. She launched into “Death By A Thousand Cuts” after explaining it being inspired by being current friends’ breakups and also situations that played out onscreen. She brought the guitar back out and her voice grew higher and softer. The gentle plucks of the instrument grew into giant swipes and grand notes that matched her soaring singing.
Most Tiny Desk performances are capped at three songs. But it’s Taylor. Who’s going to have a problem if she squeezes in just one more for the sake of the thrilled audience? She took things back to what she described as her “autumn” album, Red, with a performance of “All Too Well.” She dubbed it “a sad song about fall” and went to the piano again, ending the performance on a wispy and fervid note.
Check out Taylor’s epic Tiny Desk performance up above.