The singer previously revealed he wants to work on an acoustic album with Swift, but when he met her at this year’s NME Awards, he wasn’t able to broach the subject.
Speaking to Zane Lowe on New Music Daily on Apple Music, Healy said: “I went over to her. I was like, ‘Taylor, we need to make the record.’ No, I didn’t. She said hello to every single person. Obviously it’s Taylor Swift so everyone was saying hello.
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“She was just stood behind me. I mean, I haven’t seen Taylor in years so it was actually a really nice room. But it, unfortunately, wasn’t the time for me to pitch my post-rock Joni Mitchell project to [her].”
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1/20 20) “Wildest Dreams”
This song is sadly marred by the controversy that surrounded its accompanying video (its references to films such as Out of Africa drew accusations that it presented a “white colonialist fantasy”.) The track itself is a dreamy, lush soundscape filled with breathless sighs and dramatic pauses that recall Swift’s fellow old Hollywood obsessive, Lana Del Rey.
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2/20 19) “Paper Rings”
A pop-punk song! Swift is at her most energetic on a song that has more than a hint of Toni Basil’s “Mickey”, from the hand-clapping beat to the distorted scuzz added to her vocals.
3/20 18) “Style”
Until “Dress” appeared on Reputation, “Style” was Swift’s most bold and sensuous song, driven by a pulsing beat and an urgent electric guitar riff. It plays on the idea that it’s easy to leave someone but a lot harder to stay away, especially if your lover has that “James Dean daydream look in [their] eye”.
4/20 17) “Back to December”
This was a first for Swift, who apologises to an ex who treated her perfectly, while she perhaps didn’t value the relationship as much. It’s a noteworthy song simply to point out that Swift, who has faced multiple accusations of “using” her relationships to drag her ex-boyfriends, is more than capable of self-criticism.
5/20 16) “Love Story”
A Swift classic about star-crossed lovers, inspired by (what else?) Romeo and Juliet. This is a country pop song is a prime example of Swift’s skill as a story teller – one who understands the power of a forbidden romance.
6/20 15) “Out of the Woods”
Swift emulates Bruce Springsteen on this Eighties synth-pop “get in the car and go” epic, which lasts not a second too long and ends so abruptly that it leaves you gasping to catch your breath.
Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
7/20 14) “I Did Something Bad”
One of the most underrated songs on Reputation has Swift embracing the role of villain after years of being accused of using men as a songwriting tool, along with the fallout from her feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. There’s so much more bite on this track than “Blank Space”, despite the similar themes – here she is merciless upon learning a man has used her name, or spent her money, behind her back.
(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
8/20 13) “Lover”
A tender Sixties-style acoustic ballad that shows Swift experimenting with rhythm and meter in a way that’s impressively bold this far into her career.
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9/20 12) “Tim McGraw”
There’s something very moving about Swift opening her first album with a song that intertwines the old and the new. Nashville is notoriously unkind to female country artists, particularly young ones, so you can’t help but admire a then-16-year-old Swift, who offered a profound respect to one of her biggest inspirations on her debut single.
10/20 11) “Dress”
This song is essentially one big, lustful sigh: Swift seems to delight in a secret romance where she “only bought this dress so you could take it off” and quite literally pants with anticipation.
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11/20 10) “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince”
At first, you could mistake this for a love song. It is, in a way – Swift’s most political song to date addresses her heartbreak over America as she witnesses it in turmoil. She takes classic themes from her earliest work – white knights, red roses, princesses and high-school prom – and spins all of it into a metaphor for a perceived loss of innocence following the 2016 general election. Add the subliminal cheerleader chant – “GO! FIGHT! Win!”, and this makes for one of Swift’s best songs of her career.
12/20 9) “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
While Red signalled Swift’s full-blown transition into pop music, she couldn’t resist putting the odd country twang on songs such as “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”, which mocks an ex for being snobbish about his “indie record label that’s much cooler than mine”. The most spectacular is really the beginning of the song, where she delivers an astounded “what?” upon being told the guy needs space: “We hadn’t seen each other in a month.”
13/20 8) “Dear John”
John Mayer lashed out over this song in 2012, clearly upset after Swift alluded that it was about their past relationship. He called it “cheap songwriting” in reference to using their personal lives for material – whatever you think of that, it’s features of her best vocal performances and brilliant songwriting – right down to the Mayer-ism of that wavering electric guitar line. Then there are the lyrics themselves: “You are an expert at sorry/ And keeping lines blurry/ And never impressed by me acing your tests/ All the girls that you’ve run dry/ Have tired, lifeless eyes/ ’Cause you burned them out.” Medic!
Taylor Swift. Credit: Getty
14/20 7) “Delicate”
One of Swift’s greatest talents as a songwriter is to encapsulate those small moments, often in a new relationship, that you as a listener cannot. Her skittishness on “Delicate”, about the danger of rushing into something, of sharing too much of yourself too soon with someone you’re still getting to know, is all too palpable as the beat switches up like a nervous heart.
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)
15/20 6) “Call It What You Want”
The lyrics here are more open and willingly vulnerable than anything Swift had done before; that line on the chorus where she sings: “My baby’s fly like a jet stream/ high above the whole scene/ loves me like I’m brand new” hits hard. The song appears on Reputation, released after Swift’s lengthy hiatus from the spotlight, and its lyrics speak of a person blissfully content in her relationship – to the point that the outside world is just white noise. It includes some of her finest lyrics, too, with superb references to those castles of old crumbling “overnight” and nods to her Anglophilia (“my baby’s fit like a daydream”).
16/20 5) “Our Song”
“Mean” is beaten only by “Our Song” as Swift’s most “country” release, helped a lot by her endearing portrait of “the slam of screen doors” and driving along country lanes listening to the radio. Swift is a master of the meta-narrative, so her making a song about a song based on sounds from real-life is all kinds of perfect.
17/20 4) “Getaway Car”
On “Getaway Car” Swift channels one of her friend and producer Jack Antonoff’s favourites – Kate Bush – as she belts that epic “go, go, go!”, while the song in its entirety recalls Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – cellos and violins enhancing the drama.
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18/20 3) “Blank Space”
“Blank Space” was a real moment for Swift, where she turned all of the tabloid gossip, all of the malicious scrutiny around her love life, back on the world with a wink and a nod. “Got a long list of ex-lovers/ They’ll tell you I’m insane,” she trills on the chorus, throwing out punchline after punchline until the exquisite: “You’ll come back, each time you leave/ ‘cos darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”
19/20 2) “Afterglow”
Against a similar soundscape to “Wildest Dreams”, Swift is at her most confessional as she explains how her own insecurities can lead to self-destruction in a relationship – and pleads with her lover to be patient with her. “It’s all me, in my head,” she sings. “I’m the one who burned us down/ But it’s not what I meant/ Sorry that I hurt you.”
20/20 1) “All Too Well”
Swift’s mastery of storytelling has never been better than on this, a standout song not just from Red, but of her career to date. It’s the slow-build from those bittersweet memories of “dancing in the refrigerator light” to a devastating, stadium-sized anthem that leads to her delivering arguably her best-ever line – with one of her best vocal performances: “You call me up again just to break me like a promise/ So casually cruel in the name of being honest.”