Taylor Swift’s Fifth Single from 1989?

Taylor Swift’s latest album 1989 has launched four top ten hits, three of which went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.  I was looking at the release history of her singles from this album, and they almost literally were released three months apart.  Since “Bad Blood” was released in May and it is now August, I think there is a very strong possibility the fifth single could be released.  Very soon.

But which song will Swift and her team choose?

I saw someone ask her (I think on Tumblr) what would be the next single, and she replied saying she didn’t know (which I suspect is a slight lie…Ms. Swift has a strong record of being ten steps ahead of everyone and having things planned out in great detail).  I read a lot of speculation from various blogs and Swift-fan Tumblr pages that “New Romantics,” a bonus song from the deluxe version of 1989, will be or should be the next single.  I think the speculation comes from the fact that it’s the only bonus song that is in the setlist of the 1989 World Tour; the others she has performed, but not at every show like “New Romantics.”  Why would she make a song that is not part of the standard version of 1989 (she performs all thirteen songs plus a couple of her past hits during the show) part of the setlist if it was not to be a single.  And she has made bonus songs singles previously (let us remember “Ours” from the deluxe version of Speak Now).

chart

Chart performances on the Billboard Hot 100 for the bonus songs from 1989

Personally, I wouldn’t choose “New Romantics” as the next single.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the song, it has a great beat, message, and it’s great to dance around to with your hands in the air (something I have in fact done).  The first reason is that when they released the bonus tracks as promotional singles a could months ago, “New Romantics” didn’t do the best.  Now, I don’t have the sales figures or anything, I just have the reported chart performances, so I’m using that to estimate that “Wonderland” sold/tested better than “New Romantics” (see above chart).  Also, keep in mind that Swift has had promotional singles, like “Speak Now,” “State of Grace,” and “Out of the Woods,” chart significantly higher on the Billboard Hot 100 based solely on digital downloads (eight, thirteen, and eighteen, respectively).

Early chart performance probably doesn’t matter because Taylor Swift could take her worst song (as if that exists) and make it a top ten hit easy.  The other reason why I wouldn’t choose “New Romantics” is because, to me, it feels like a summer anthem, what with the drum beat and big chorus.  If they released it now as we head out of summer, it wouldn’t have a long shelf life.  Sure, it would get spins during the dog days of August and early September, but as the leaves start to change, we’re no longer dancing on the beach but settling down for autumn.
My suggestion: “Wildest Dreams.”  It’s the perfect fit for where she’s at with the promotion of the album.  Tempo-wise, it changes it up from her past upbeat singles and it slows it down for the summer-ending/autumn-coming season.  Plus, it’s radio friendly with a pretty darn catchy and beautiful chorus.  On top of all that, it was the only non-single/non-promotional-single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, landing at number seventy-six during the release week of 1989.  In fact, I remember it was a worldwide trending topic during 1989‘s release week.  This all boils down to the fact that while it is a big fan favorite, it has spilled over into non-Swifties (for the purpose of this post, I’m defining a non-Swiftie as someone who would listen to her music, but are only really familiar with her hits from radio.  Like, they’re not hardcore fans for various reasons).  With another mind-blowing music video, “Wildest Dreams” could easily be her fourth number one single from 1989 (fifth overall).

There really isn’t anyway to know what will be the fifth single (if there is to be one) until Swift tells us.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear “Out of the Woods” on the radio pretty soon or “New Romantics.” My hope, though, is that in a couple weeks we’ll see “Wildest Dreams” sitting on top of the Billboard 100.  That would be pretty cool.