Monday night, Taylor Swift made a surprise visit to The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon to perform her melancholic, nostalgia-inducing single, “New Year’s Day,” from her recently-released album, Reputation. As the album’s closer, “New Year’s Day” evokes both good and bad memories with sparse piano and guitar, allowing the lyrics to take center stage over the stripped-down production.
Likewise, Swift’s Tonight Show performance is similarly pared-down, with just the piano played by Swift herself, an acoustic guitarist just behind her, and a handful of backup singers who serve to underline the plaintive refrain of the song’s aching chorus: “Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you.”
Monday night’s surprise appearance marks her second of the week; she made a planned (and much-hyped) musical appearance on Saturday Night Live to perform another stripped-down song, “Call It What You Want,” after she performed the rabble-rousing “…Ready For It.” Intriguingly, “New Year’s Day” was originally debuted Thursday night on the latest episode of Scandal, with this follow-up performance wisely solidifying it as the single that firmly places Swift’s songwriting back in the spotlight.
Meanwhile, Swift announced her upcoming tour dates in support of Reputation Monday as well, with a slew of planned stadium shows beginning in May of 2018.