Taylor Swift typically gives herself about two years between albums to write songs for her next project. With so much time to write, she ends up with far more songs than she can record, leaving her to make some tough decisions about which songs will land on the album. She has developed a method for deciding what songs ultimately make the cut.
“The first rule that I always apply to a record is, ‘May the best song win,’” she said. “You determine that by the songs that your friends and family absolutely freak out over. When I play them new songs and they go, ‘Oh it’s really good,’ I know that one’s not supposed to make the record. Because unless they’re going, ‘Oh..My..God! What?! Whoa!’ Unless they’re really losing it and asking me to hear it again, then it’s not good enough.”
Passing the “family and friends” test is only one hurdle for the songs in question. It ultimately has to pass Taylor’s personal test to decide if the track makes its way onto her album. “I’m pretty harsh on my own songs and I listen to them over and over and over again,” she said. “The ones that I get tired of first, don’t make the record.”
Her latest single, “Red,” is in the Top 10 at country radio.