When Ryan Adams released his cover album of Taylor Swift’s 1989 last fall, many people praised him for stripping the pop-produced songs down, making them feel intimate, and letting Taylor’s songwriting shine through.
Well, no offense to Ryan, but Taylor can do all of that on her own just as brilliantly, thankyouverymuch.
In September, the 26-year-old gave a private performance at the GRAMMY Museum’s Clive Davis Theater in downtown Los Angeles, during which she performed an acoustic version of “Out of the Woods” and gave some revealing insight into the track’s backstory.
But it’s her stripped-back rendition of “Wildest Dreams” from the same performance that has our attention today. The video, released Monday night (Jan. 4), finds a black-clad Taylor ditching the ballad’s original synth-heavy production, as well as the sweeping, cinematic drama of its accompanying music video. Instead, Taylor gives it a little rock edge with her electric guitar, while keeping her delicate vocals restrained. Ultimately, this version sounds like it’d fit right in on Red, 1989’s predecessor, and proves it’s not the glitzy costumes or surprise celeb guests that make her a show-stopping performer — it’s her pure talent.