This is a song called Delicate. There is an effect that you may hear on the vocals throughout the rest of the album that is recurring and it’s a vocoder. It’s a vocal effect where you sing and the vocoder splits your voice into chords and you can play your voice on a keyboard in chords. So if you’re singing the notes of a piano you can play your own voice. That’s what you’ll hear in the beginning of this song and then you’ll hear it several times - we tried it in the studio and I thought it sounded really emotional and really vulnerable and really sad but beautiful. This is a song where the idea of reputation is definitely something that I play on for the entire album but when the album started off it’s much more bombastic. “I don’t care what you say about me! I don’t care say about my reputation. Blah.” But, like, then it hits this point on track 5 where it’s like what happens when you meet someone who you really want in your life and then you start worrying about what they’ve heard before they met you? You start to wonder like, “Could something fake, like your reputation, affect something real like someone getting to know you?” You start to wonder how it all matters. This is the first point of vulnerability in the record where you’re like, “Oh, maybe this does actually matter a little bit” and questioning the reality and the perception of a reputation and how much weight it actually has. So this is called Delicate.
—  Taylor introducing Delicate to iHeartRadio

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