“I know general things about love,” the Grammy winner tells the new issue of Rolling Stone, on stands Sept. 13. “How to treat people well, what you deserve and when to walk away. Other than that, love is a complete mystery – and that’s why I like to write about it.”
And that’s exactly what she did for her upcoming fourth studio album, Red, out Oct. 22. Her first single off the LP, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” a breakup anthem with a hip-hop beat, has set records, selling 623,000 digital singles in its debut week.
But for Swift, translating her romantic turmoil into record-selling lyrics is not so easy.
“I went through a few roller coasters,” she admits of her love life. “Trying to chronicle each step of the way was challenging, because you go to some really dark places with the lyrics. Then in the next track, you’re talking about how amazing it is to meet somebody new.”
Unlike her 2010 hit album Speak Now, Swift got some help in penning her new tracks.
“I felt like an apprentice,” the multi-platinum artist said of joining industry pros Max Martin and Dan Wilson for writing sessions in Los Angeles and her native Nashville. “They taught me so much about melodic sense, and they let me do what I love, which is the lyrics.”
Her latest love affair — with Conor Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — may be too new to have made it into the Red tunes. But after making herself at home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at the Kennedy compound this summer, Swift snatched up a neighborhood, $4.9 million oceanfront home — which she alludes to in the interview. “That would be so amazing,” Swift gushed of having her own Cape Cod home.
But as the debut date of her album nears, Swift is readying to leave home and head on tour again.
“I really want to go out on the road in the spring,” she said. “After I write a song, I always end up laying awake at night thinking, ‘What are the lighting cues going to be on this? How big is the pit going to be?’ I have been thinking of some big moments that are going to happen.”
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