Why Taylor Swift’s Red is the Perfect Autumn Album

There are songs which are ‘summer anthems’ and then there are albums – usually Christmas ones – which are on repeat throughout winter months. But do people associate music with spring or autumn? Not so much. Unless, of course, you’re a Taylor Swift fan. Taylor’s music is cleverly crafted to fit certain aesthetics, and to mirror specific moments of her life. It makes sense, therefore, that her albums are associated with different seasons. Take Red – it’s a perfect autumnal album. And I’ll tell you why.

In her rerelease announcement, Taylor describes Red as “resembl[ing] a heartbroken person” and her return to the studio “like trying on pieces of a new life”. What is autumn if not a chance to say goodbye, and start again? Spring is associated with new life, nature’s revival. But autumn is a fresh start for people – it’s the return to school, the chance to reflect over summer and find ways to change and grow, or follow newfound interests. Many of Red’s songs follow this pattern – The Lucky One highlights new identities in new towns, like a new high school, Everything Has Changed and Begin Again tell the story of new beginnings and new love.

There are multiple mentions of autumn throughout the album – “like the colours in autumn” (Red), “autumn leaves falling down” (All Too Well) – but there’s also the more subtle aesthetic references, such as the colour red, scarves, and plaid. Taylor perfectly creates the aesthetic of autumn – the photos having shades of red, a mixture of warm and cool filters, the bowler hats, the use of shadows. To further the autumnal feel, Red was originally released in October 2012, and is set to be rereleased this November.

These next months, I’ll be channelling autumn vibes and playing Red on my record player, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Red (Taylor’s Version).

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Louise Collins

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June 2022
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