Many fans believe the breakup album was partially inspired by Taylor’s relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal. According to the performer, who has been dating Joe Alwyn since 2017, the process of re-recording brought along some new emotions.
“Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person. It was all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end,” she explained. “Happy, free, confused, lonely, devastated, euphoric, wild and tortured by memories past. Like trying on pieces of a new life, I went into the studio and experimented with different sounds and collaborators. And I’m not sure if it was pouring my thoughts into this album, hearing thousands of your voices sing the lyrics back to me in a passionate solidarity, or if it was simple time, but something was healed along the way.”
“Sometimes you need to talk it over (over and over and over) for it to ever really be…over,” the 31-year-old artist continued. “Like your friend who calls you in the middle of the night going on and on about their ex, I just couldn’t stop writing.”