Taylor Swift debuted Reputation’s closing track on Thursday night, just hours before the album’s release, in a pre-recorded performance aired during ABC’s Scandal.
“New Year’s Day,” written by Swift and Jack Antonoff (with whom she also co-wrote “Look What You Made Me Do”), appears to be another ode to her boyfriend Joe Alwyn. Her new album hints that it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the pair, with the world putting them through their paces on “Dancing with Our Hands Tied.” But in “New Year’s Day,” Swift, accompanying herself at a candle-lit piano, indicates she’s in it for the long haul:
“Don’t read the last page/ But I stay when it’s hard or it’s wrong or we're making mistakes/ I want your midnights/ But I'll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day.”
Hanging around to help a significant other clean up a post-party mess is a pretty big commitment—although let’s be real, Swift has probably never had to clean up after a party in her life. It’s a nice sentiment though. The song asks its subject to “hold onto the memories,” something Swift always does herself—in “Red,” she says that “Forgetting [Jake Gyllenhaal] was like trying to know somebody you never met” while in “All Too Well,” she remembers the details of their broken relationship, er, all too well.
Swift performed the sweet and simple love song from her mansion in Rhode Island, surrounded by a room full of loyal Swifties, who already knew the words and were swaying and singing along. Swift has been granting her biggest fans advance details and covert clues about her sixth album over the past few months, from secret Tumblr signals to inviting them to “secret sessions” around the world to hear the full album in advance.