Taylor Swift Shares the Stories Behind 'Out of the Woods' & 'I Know Places'

Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images for TAS
Taylor Swift performs during 'The 1989 World Tour' night 1 at Lanxess Arena on June 19, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. 

Taylor Swift sat down to discuss the songwriting and production elements of two 1989 tracks, “Out of the Woods” and “I Know Places,” in a new on-camera segment with Grammy Pro.

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“Out of the Woods,” a collaboration with Jack Antonoff (of fun. and Bleachers), came to Swift in an unusual way -- for her, anyway.

“I’m not used to writing to track,” Swift says in the clip. “Like, I know it’s done in pop music all the time, but I’ve never written that way.”

As the story goes, Antonoff sent her the track, and then the melody and lyrics came to Swift “immediately, in full.” In the Grammy Pro video, Swift plays the version of the song that she sent back to him only an hour later, which she describes as “me singing what came to me, which ended up being the finished version of the song -- or, at least, really close to it.”

“It just kind of conjured up all these feelings of anxiety I had in a relationship where everybody was watching, everybody was commenting on it,” she says of “Out of the Woods.” “You’re constantly just feeling like, ‘Are we out of the woods yet? What’s the next thing gonna be? What’s the next hurdle we’re gonna have to jump over? Are we gonna make it to next week?’ It was interesting to write about a relationship where you’re just honestly like, ‘This is probably not gonna last, but how long is it gonna last?’ Those fragile relationships … It doesn’t mean they’re not supposed to happen. The whole time we were having happy memories or crazy memories or ridiculously anxious times, in my head it was just like, ‘Are we OK yet? Are we there yet? Are we out of this yet?’”

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Swift goes on to detail her experience working with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder on the song “I Know Places.”

“I had this idea of like, you know, when you’re in love -- along the lines of ‘Out of the Woods’ -- it’s very precious, it’s fragile. As soon as the world gets ahold of it, whether it’s your friends or people around town hear about it … it’s kind of like the first thing people want to do when they hear that people are in love is just kind of try to ruin it, if they’re not the greatest human beings,” she says.

“I kind of was in a place where I was like, ‘No one is gonna sign up for this. There are just too many cameras pointed at me. There are too many ridiculous elaborations on my life. It’s just not ever gonna work,’” Swift admits. “But I decided to write a love song, just kind of like, ‘What would I say if I met someone really awesome and they were like, hey, I’m worried about all this attention you get?’ So I wrote this song called ‘I Know Places’ about, like, ‘Hey, I know places we can hide. We could outrun them.’”

“I’m so happy that it sounds like the urgency that it sings about,” she says.

You can watch the full video of Swift talking about “Out of the Woods” and “I Know Places” at the Grammy Pro website.