That's When

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

"That's When"
Song by Taylor Swift featuring Keith Urban
from the album Fearless (Taylor's Version)
ReleasedApril 9, 2021
GenreCountry pop
Lyric video
"That's When" on YouTube

"That's When"[a] is a song by Taylor Swift featuring Keith Urban. Swift wrote the track with the Warren Brothers when she was 14 and intended to include it on her second studio album, Fearless (2008), but left it out of the track list. She and Jack Antonoff produced "That's When" for the Fearless's 2021 re-recording, Fearless (Taylor's Version).

"That's When" is a country pop song about the aftermath of a broken relationship: Swift's and Urban's characters contemplate on how to reunite with one another. Music critics generally complimented the production and Urban's guest appearance. The song reached number 30 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs and charted in Australia and Canada.

Background and release[edit]

After departing from Big Machine Records and signing a new contract with Republic Records in 2018, Taylor Swift began re-recording her six studio albums in November 2020.[1] The decision followed a public dispute in 2019 between Swift and the talent manager Scooter Braun, who acquired Big Machine, including the masters of her albums which the label had released.[2][3] By re-recording the albums, Swift had full ownership of the new masters, which enabled her to control the licensing of her songs for commercial use and therefore substituted the Big Machine–owned masters.[4]

Keith Urban performs at the 2020 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song concert at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.; Urban is playing a guitar and singing into the microphone.
New Zealand country singer Keith Urban (pictured) is featured on "That's When".

On February 11, 2021, Swift announced the first of her re-recorded albums, Fearless (Taylor's Version), a re-recording of Swift's 2008 country pop album Fearless.[5] In addition to re-recordings of the original album's tracks, Fearless (Taylor's Version) additionally contained six previously unreleased "From the Vault" tracks, which are songs written for the original album that did not make the cut.[5][6] Swift explained that these "Vault" tracks were left out of Fearless for various reasons, and that including them on the re-recorded album proved that "the artist is the only one who really knows that body of work".[7] One such song is "That's When".[8]

Swift wrote "That's When" with the Warren Brothers, a country music duo composed of Brad and Brett Warren, when she was 14 years old. When Swift contacted the Warren Brothers 17 years later to inform them of her intention to release the song, they stated it was "the longest hold [they have] ever had".[9] When looking back through her unreleased songs, Swift believed "That's When" would work better as a duet and could only imagine Keith Urban as the duet partner.[10] Urban told Ellen DeGeneres in an interview that he was doing his Christmas shopping when Swift texted him requesting he contribute to "That's When" and "We Were Happy", another vault track: "I'm sitting in the food court at the shopping centre listening to these two unreleased Taylor Swift songs. [...] It was an unusual place to be hearing unreleased Taylor Swift music but I love the songs and luckily got to put a vocal on both of those."[11] "That's When" marks Swift's second collaboration with Urban, with their first being on Tim McGraw's 2013 single "Highway Don't Care".[12]

On April 2, Swift uploaded a cryptic, golden-hued video to her social media accounts depicting a vault releasing scrambled words from it. Fans and new outlets decoded the scrambled letters to reveal the titles of the vault tracks.[13] Swift uploaded the official track list to her social media accounts, including the names of the five remaining "from the Vault" tracks, the next day.[14] Fearless (Taylor's Version) was released on April 9, 2021. Lyric videos of each song on the album were released to Swift's YouTube channel; "That's When" has since garnered over 2.5 million views as of July 2021. In the video, the lyrics appear over a foggy, rural landscape.[15] "That's When" was also included in Fearless (Taylor's Version): The From the Vault Chapter, a streaming compilation released by Swift on May 26, 2021, alongside the five other vault songs from Fearless (Taylor's Version).[16]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

Swift originally penned "That's When" with Brett and Brad Warren, members of country music duo The Warren Brothers, when she was 14 years old.[9][17] Swift and Jack Antonoff produced the song;[17] Antonoff collaborated with Swift on her last five studio albums, dating back to her 2014 album 1989,[18] and produced three of the other vault tracks with Swift.[17] "That's When" is a country pop track narrating the storyline of two former lovers contemplating reuniting and contemplating how to repair their relationship.[19][20][21] Swift sings the first verse and Urban the second, with the two harmonizing during the chorus.[22] The song is set in the key of F major with a tempo of 90 beats per minute (BPM). Swift and Urban's vocals span from F3 to B♭4.[23]

Critical reception[edit]

"That's When" received positive reviews from music critics, who acclaimed the collaboration between Swift and Urban. Saloni Gajjar of The A.V. Club wrote that the collaboration "hits all the right soothing notes."[20] Writing for The Nash News, Jena Fowler wrote that "one of the best things Swift could've done [on Fearless (Taylor's Version)] was add country features", applauding the choruses where Swift and Urban harmonize.[19] In a review of Fearless (Taylor's Version) published for Rolling Stone, Jonathan Bernstein opined that the song was one of the many vault tracks that were "revelatory glimpses into Swift's working process." Bernstein additionally highlighted the choice of Jack Antonoff as a producer on a song Swift wrote in 2006.[12] Also writing for Rolling Stone, Joseph Hudak described "That's When" as "an introspective retelling of romance at the brink".[22] Writing for Spin, Bobby Olivier designated "That's When" as an album highlight, describing it as a "hooky acoustic duet" that gives a glimpse into Swift's earlier career in country music.[24] Hannah Mylrea of NME similarly designated the song as a highlight on Fearless (Taylor's Version), praising its "euphoric layered vocals" and Antonoff's 1989-style production.[25] Poulomi Das also favorably compared the song's "sleek" production to that of 1989 in a review published in Firstpost.[21]

Gigwise's Kelsey Barnes wrote that the song "fit[s] perfectly alongside [Swift's] other collaborations."[26] Heather Taylor-Singh of Exclaim! selected "That's When" as exemplary of the vault tracks as "a fun treat for fans who can't get chose of Swift's vivid storytelling".[27] Billboard's Jason Lipshutz opined that in spite of being a breakup song, "That's When" "offers a dose of levity".[28] On the contrary, Jackson Langford of MTV ranked the song fifth of the six vault tracks, praising Urban's presence on the track but writing that the song "still falls just short of greatness."[29] In a mixed review, Chris Willman of Variety wrote that "it's lovely to hear [Swift and Urban] together", but that the song doesn't feel sufficiently immersive in comparison to the other songs that made it to the original album. Willman commended Swift's decision to leave it off the original album, dubbing the song and its chords as "a slightly more balladic version of the superior 'You Belong with Me'".[30] Jon Pareles similarly pointed out the similarities between the melodies of "That's When" and "You Belong with Me" in a New York Times critics roundtable.[31]

Commercial performance[edit]

Following the release of Fearless (Taylor's Version), "That's When" debuted at number 30 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, one of 18 songs from the album to chart simultaneously.[32] It additionally entered at 21 on the Country Streaming Songs chart (one of 12 songs from the album to chart)[33] and 23 on the Country Digital Song Sales chart,[34] each component charts for Hot Country Songs. Though it did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, it charted at number 3 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, a quasi-extension to the Hot 100.[35] On the Rolling Stone Top 100 it debuted at number 76, alongside 11 other songs on the album, selling 44,100 units and garnering 5.1 million streams.[36] Internationally, it charted at number 63 on the Canadian Hot 100[37] and 81 in Australia.[38]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[17]

  • Taylor Swift – vocals, songwriting, production
  • Keith Urban – vocals, 12-string acoustic guitar
  • Brad Warren – songwriting
  • Brett Warren – songwriting
  • Jack Antonoff – production, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, electric guitar, record engineering, keyboards, percussion
  • Mike Freedom Hart – bass, celesta, drums, electric guitar, Hammond B3, keyboards, pedal steel, piano
  • Evan Smith — flute, saxophone
  • John Rooney – assistant record engineering
  • Jon Sher – assistant record engineering
  • Sean Hutchinson – drums
  • John Hanes – engineering
  • Randy Merrill — master engineering
  • Serban Ghenea — mixing
  • Michael Riddleberger — percussion
  • David Hart – record engineering
  • Laura Sisk – record engineering
  • Christopher Rowe – vocal engineering
  • Nick Rowse – vocal engineering

Chart performance[edit]

Chart performance for "That's When"
Chart (2021) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[38] 81
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[39] 63
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[40] 3
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[41] 30
US Rolling Stone Top 100[36] 76


  1. ^ Alternate versions of the title include "That's When (From the Vault)", "That's When (Taylor's Version) (from the Vault)" and "That's When (feat. Keith Urban) (Taylor's Version) (From the Vault)".


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