This is the first track on 1989, an album that finds Swift tossing away the Nashville elements of her previous three records in favor of a new city and new pop sound. "I wanted to start the album with this song because New York has been an important landscape and location for the story of my life in the past couple of years," Swift explained.
The song finds Swift singing the praises of the Big Apple. "I dreamt about moving to New York, I obsessed about moving to New York and then I did it," she said. "The inspiration I found in that city is kind of hard to describe and hard to compare it to any other force of inspiration I've ever experienced in my life. It's like an electric city."
The synth-laden track reflects the electric city. "I approached moving there with such wide eyed optimism and sort of saw it as a place of endless potential and possibilities," Swift explained, "and you can kind of hear that reflected in this music and this first song especially."
Swift wrote the song with Ryan Tedder. The OneRepublic frontman also produced the track with Noel Zancanella, who has penned hits for Ellie Goulding, Demi Lovato and Maroon 5.
Taylor Swift donated her portion of proceeds from the song's single release to New York City public schools.