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  • Hello.”

  • “O.K., it's happened.

  • We're in business.”

  • How's this?”

  • “I like it, Alex.”

  • Do you always keep instruments near your bed

  • in case inspiration strikes?”

  • Well, I have a piano near me all the time,

  • and I always have a goodyeah, the answer is yes.”

  • Singing: “Take me out and take me home.

  • You're my, my, my, my lover.”

  • “I've never really been able to fully explain

  • songwriting other than it's like this little glittery

  • cloud floats in front of your face,

  • and you grab it at the right time.

  • And then you revert back to what

  • you know about the structure of a song

  • in order to fill in the gaps.”

  • Where were you the moment inspiration struck?”

  • It was, I was in bed.

  • I was in Nashville.

  • I got out of bed.

  • I think it was really late at night,

  • and stumbled over to the piano.”

  • Voice memo: “O.K., so I had this idea that's like

  • obviously I don't know the verse, whatever yet,

  • but I have a pretty cool, really simple,

  • beautiful chorus idea called 'Lover.'”

  • “I've been thinking for years, God,

  • it would just be so great to have a song that people

  • who are in love would want to dance to, like slow dance to.

  • In my head, I had just the last two people on a dance floor

  • at 3 a.m., swaying.”

  • What did you have in your mind?

  • Was it the title?

  • Was it a lyric?

  • Was it a melody?”

  • It was notit was, can I go where you go?

  • Can we always be this close?”

  • Singing: “Can I go where you go?

  • Can we always be this close forever and ever?”

  • “I wanted the chorus to be these really simple

  • existential questions that we ask ourselves

  • when we're in love.

  • 'Can I go where you go'

  • is such a heavy thing to ask somebody.

  • 'Can we always be this close' has so much fear in it,

  • but so does love.”

  • When did you hit upon the word 'lover'?”

  • Oh, I've always liked that word,

  • but I've never used it in everyday life.

  • When people are like, that's my lover over there

  • or calling each other lover, I've never done that,

  • but I've always loved it in the context

  • of poetry or songs.”

  • It's a polarizing word.

  • Some people are like, 'Ugh, that word gives me

  • the creeps.'”

  • Well, anything I do is polarizing.

  • So, you know, I'm used to that.”

  • Fair enough.

  • So how much of the song did you get done that night

  • at the piano in Nashville?”

  • The whole thing.”

  • She sent me that voice note.

  • Whether it's a whole song or just a little thing from her,

  • I sort of get this big jolt, and I listen and I block out

  • the whole world for a minute.

  • Every lyric and melody was right there.

  • And I was like …”

  • [ding]

  • “… get on a plane.

  • She came in the next day.

  • She sat right there.

  • She played it.”

  • It's basically, I don't see it as piano.

  • I think it's that kind of dreamy,

  • guitary, throwback, but not like camp throwback.”

  • “I know what you mean.”

  • So —”

  • [piano]

  • “I thought it was the perfect song, which

  • is really interesting because it's

  • almost like even more of a duty to do it right.”

  • Singing: “You're my, my, my, my lover.”

  • That seems so much better.”

  • Yeah, I love the walk down.”

  • That really fixes that part.”

  • “I love the walk down.”

  • That was the only thing that —”

  • “I was trying to figure out, what the hell is

  • going to happen there?

  • So the —”

  • That makes it so much better.”

  • Singing: “My, my, my, my.”

  • When I'm working with Jack and Taylor,

  • I'm working with two extremely creative people

  • who are bouncing ideas back and forth so fast.

  • So my job is to basically not slow them down in any way.”

  • Laura's been by my side for every record

  • I've made pretty much since people started listening

  • to any of my records.

  • We're allthree of us are in that process together.”

  • We're just like ugh, like it's just fun.

  • We're fully, fully acting on impulse.

  • And we're acting on intuition, and we're

  • acting on excitement and oat-milk lattes.”

  • “I remember the first thing I did

  • was I went into the live room, which is right there.

  • And at that time I had listened

  • to a lot of Violent Femmes recently,

  • and I was excited about how much feeling you

  • could get out of a snare drum if it was a brush.”

  • [drums]

  • And I just remember going in and going 'psh,' one brush.

  • I wasn't even really playing drums.

  • I just kind of had one brush.

  • I just —”

  • We were using real reverbs and real tape echoes.

  • It gives a really special character to it

  • where it does feel nostalgic.”

  • The bass, which is a very, very, very special bass,

  • belongs to the studio.”

  • He was calling that the 'Paul bass.'

  • Is that Paul McCartney?”

  • Yeah.”

  • My old Hofner bass, my little baby.

  • Come on, baby.”

  • We were just referencing like what would Paul do

  • W.W.P.D.?

  • Humming: Brum, brum, brum, brum, brum, brum, brum.

  • The bass line is actually the hook.”

  • It's not a true 'Paul bass' though.”

  • It's not a true 'Paul bass' at all,

  • but it's better at that 'Paul thump'

  • than I've ever gotten out of the violin bass.”

  • Humming: “Brum, brum, brum, brum, brum, brum, brum,

  • brum, brum.”

  • The bass and the drum is sort of like

  • if you just hear those two tracks,

  • like the entire space is so, I think, beautifully filled.”

  • In the studio, I'm obsessively

  • going over every lyric and making sure

  • that's what I want the final lyric to be.

  • So I'll be over, in my notes, just sharpen that,

  • hone in on that.”

  • Were there lines that changed in that process?”

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah.

  • I had toyed with the idea of being like,

  • we could leave the Christmas lights up till April.”

  • Singing: “We could leave the Christmas lights up

  • till January.”

  • Doesn't everyone leave their Christmas lights up

  • till January?”

  • But it's not about that being a crazy thing.

  • It's about how mundane it is.

  • It's about we could put a rug over there.

  • We could do wallpaper, or we could do paint.”

  • Singing: “This is our place.

  • We made the rules.”

  • When young adults go from living in their family

  • to then combining their life with someone else,

  • that's actually like the most profound thing.”

  • To be just telling this story

  • I don't know.

  • It almost feels like an old story I've heard many times.

  • I mean, I guess it is, people falling in love.”

  • Tell me about the importance of the bridge to you.

  • I feel like you love a bridge.

  • This is a special bridge.

  • Talk to me about it.”

  • “I love a bridge.

  • I love a bridge so much.

  • I love trying to take the song to a higher

  • level with the bridge.”

  • There's these, sort of, hand-plucking strings

  • and these kind of flutes that are popping out.”

  • “I wanted it to be the first time we