Happy 9th birthday, Red!
Nine years ago today, Taylor Swift stripped away from her good-girl country persona and devasted fans with her fourth studio album, Red. Fresh off her breakup with actor Jake Gyllenhaal, Taylor introduced a 16-track heartbreak album that showed off her lyrical prowess and songwriting skills—all while putting her name on the map as a bonafide artist.
With the upcoming release of Red (Taylor's Version) this Nov. 12 and the arrival of Scorpio season, it only seems fitting to prepare ourselves for the rerecorded tracks. With over 30 songs and a 30-minute version of All Too Well, Swifties can only anticipate the tidal wave of emotions - so why not dive in headfirst?
Here are five slow songs to get into the "sad girl autumn" mood. Enjoy the bangers. (Or is it downers?)
I Know The End—Phoebe Bridgers
With Taylor and indie singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers set to collaborate on the new Nothing New for the rerecording of Red, we're taking a dive into Pheobe's discography—and is there anything sadder than hearing "I know the end"?
The closing track from Pheobe's sophomore studio album sees the singer crooning softly to a new revolution, while its powerful instrumental outro is one that will have you headbanging along with tears in your eyes. Well, hopefully not the tears part.
Red-esque lyrics: "But you had to go / I know, I know, I know Like a wave that crashed and melted on the shore"
The BLACKPINK singer's solo track is the ideal song for when you feel sad, but not quite there yet - the initial shock of something being "gone" in the blink of an eye. With Rosé's cool vocals and the song's simple ballad, it's one that gets more painful with each fresh listen.
Red-esque lyrics: "I see you changed your number, that's why you don't get my calls / I gave you all of me, now you don't wanna be involved"
88rising's NIKI gives us a bittersweet anthem through Sugarplum Elegy, an ode to a dying relationship living off its last few breaths. It hurts enough to be let go of, but NIKI captures the feeling of learning to let go when the time is up.
Red-esque lyrics: "Great was our love, it was one for the books / We gave it the best we could"
1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back—Olivia Rodrigo
How could we forget the Gen Z singer that was inspired by Taylor in the first place? Though Olivia Rodrigo's SOUR is essentially the breakup album of the new generation, this song takes heavy inspiration from the original heartbreak queen herself, Taylor.
Dedicated fans will notice how its opening piano chords sample Taylor's New Year's Day. Swift also gets a writing credit for this song, as Rodrigo eventually admitted that she interpolated the song from Swift's 2018 song.
Red-esque lyrics: "And maybe in some masochistic way / I kinda find it all exciting / Like, which lover will I get today?"
No Hard Feelings—Wolf Alice
Finally, after all is said and done, Wolf Alice reminds us that there'll be "No hard feelings, honey / There'll be no bad blood / Losing your love has been hard enough"
It's still a melancholic song at best, but in a way that feels final, as if you're been washed up clean onshore after a tiding wave of emotions. At least you've been cleaned, right?
Red-esque lyrics: "But there’s only so much sulking / That the heart can entertain / No hard feelings honey / Next time you come my way"
If these don't work for you, you can listen to the rerecorded version of Swift's Wildest Dreams, or wait until Adele and Taylor release their one-week apart divorce and breakup albums.