Insomnia never looked this good.
The devil works hard, but Taylor Swift works harder! During her acceptance speech for Video of the Year at this year’s VMAs, she took the opportunity to announce the release of her tenth studio album, Midnights. This will mark her sixth album in three years (from 2019’s Lover, 2020’s Folklore and Evermore, and 2021’s re-recordings of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version). She doesn’t waste any time.
Folklore and Evermore were both surprise releases, a stark departure from her usual album roll-out strategy. Midnights signifies a return to form for Swift, known for executing long and well-planned campaigns for her upcoming albums. This usually involves cryptic clues and Easter eggs - hinting at anything from the name of the album to its genre and its tracklist - intended for her fans to deciper and decode.
Swift hasn’t divulged much information on Midnights - scheduled for release on October 21st - but has stated via Instagram that the album details “stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout (her) life”.
This small amount of information provided to fans has created fertile ground for theories and speculation regarding the upcoming record. Fans are hypothesizing about everything from the album’s genre to possible collaborations, all based on Swift’s recent fashion choices, the aesthetics of the album’s cover art, and her recent Tik Tok videos.
In her latest red carpet appearances, Swift has debuted a very glamorous and classy look. Most notably, her bedazzled silvery dress at the VMAs and the dark blue silk romper she wore for its afterparty. For those unfamiliar with Swift’s MO, her fashion and style choices are often indicative of the album’s overall vibe and theme. So if these looks are anything to go by, we can cautiously assume that this album will embody an “Old Hollywood” sound, reminiscent of 60s/ ’70s, and 80s music.
This theory is further supported by her latest Tik Tok series, called “Midnights Mayhem”. Each “episode” is dedicated to revealing a name of a song from the album’s 13 tracks by randomly selecting a ball from an old bingo machine. Each ball has a corresponding number, representing a song title. The videos are definitely giving off a retro vibe from the color schemes, writing font, background elevator-like music and all-around aesthetic. Also, the use of an old bingo machine, which Taylor refers to as a “technologically advanced device” is another not-so-subtle hint towards this 60’s/70’s/80s inspired sound.
Thus far, Taylor has unvelied the names of three tracks (at the time of writing this article): track #13, called “Mastermind”, track # 8, “Vigilante Sh!t” and track #7 called “Question..?”. We are definitely intrigued.
What else do we know? Well, in a video uploaded on social media, called “the Making of Midnights”, producer and long-time collaborator, Jack Antnoff can be seen singing and playing the piano alongside Swift. We wonder if Aaron Dessner whom Swift collaborated with on Folkore and Evermore, will also have a hand in this project.
Additionally, it seems that the album will tell a story in two parts. The artist uploaded a picture of the album's cover with tracks one through six under a title refereed to as “Side A” and tracks seven through thirteen under a title called “Side B”. Could this possibly suggest two different genres? Or perhaps it is representative of two different collections of songs: dreams and nightmares/dark and light? We don’t know about you, but this is giving us some serious Beyonce circa 2009 vibes with her album “I am.. Saha Fierce”. With the “I am..” section representing softer, more ballade-y songs (AKA “Halo”) and the “Sasha Fierce” section expressing her alter ego- stage persona (AKA “Diva”).
That’s what we know for now, and knowing Swift she will probably have us guessing until the release of the album on October 21st. Till then, stay tuned for her upcoming Midnights Mayhem videos!
YOUR NEXT READ: 13 Things We Loved and Hated About "Red (Taylor’s Version)"