In true Swift fashion, suspicions have been flying around the corners of the internet recently like moths drawn to lamps about when the next re-recording release will be announced. Then Taylor appeared at the VMAs in a glittering, crystallized silver Oscar de la Renta dress to drop the news about Midnights. It had been speculated that her arrival would relate to a newsflash for fans, it was welcomed with anticipation, the explosion of online conspiracy theories, and fanatic excitement from the world over.
With the release scheduled for October 21, we’re here to break down exactly what we know, and what we desperately want to – before it strikes midnight.
Posted on Instagram shortly after the awards, fans got their first glimpse into what Midnights might be like. Taylor’s sultry purple eye makeup is at the forefront, her eyes angled downward at a shining flame from a cigarette lighter, taking up the bottom right of the image. It’s an intoxicating image, a little dark and extremely alluring but one that’s alight, just like that central flame, with mystery.
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The potential vibe:
Fans are supeeeeer divided on this. Taylor described the album — a concept record — as a “journey through terrors and sweet dreams” written through her life during “sleepless nights”, the kind where no matter what you do, your thoughts are flickering at the edge of your mind like restless ghosts. We’re super torn, but from the way Taylor phrased it, we’re hoping for a soft 70s rock vibe, maybe a drizzle of dream pop. My personal thought is that it might be a Speak Now and Lover mix, a wistful wander through self identity, finding yourself, agonizing over whether they love you in the middle of those restless nights — but we’ll have to wait until October to know if this prediction comes true.
The track count:
Thirteen tracks, thirteen sleepless midnights. Fans know all too well Taylor’s number 13 references have been scattered consistently through her songs, starting from her debut album to the present day. From the cheerfully repeated “that’s my man” thirteen times on ‘Willow’ to the fact that ‘Our Song’, her first ever number one record, has a 13-second intro, Taylor is constantly sneaking her lucky number into her concerts, her lyrics, her seating arrangements at award shows – anything she can find. So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that once again, she’s giving us that lucky charm with TS10. With the addition of “Midnights Mayhem with Me”, a Taylor TikTok trend started by the legend herself, we know tracks 7, 8 and 13 so far – ‘Question’, ‘Vigilante Shit’ and ‘Mastermind’. Whether we will get many before October remains to be seen, but Tay is doing a great job increasing excitement through this medium for now.
The vinyl and limited editions:
Midnights is coming with 4 new shiny vinyl to match its release as well as a Target exclusive edition, and there’s definitely some of Tay’s signature Easter eggs hidden in there. That is, if you trust the Swiftie detectives. With a shimmering, gentle moonstone blue, a stunning forest green jade, seductive mahogany, and rich blood moon, dedicated fans will no doubt snap all 4 off the shelves within their limited weekly run. Alongside these, the Target edition comes in a blazing purple, prompting the thought that Speak Now TV might be on the upcoming agenda. We know the Target Fearless came in red, and then she gave us Red TV, so there could very well be a pattern here. This isn’t to be relied on, though, as Taylor has an extensive penchant for surprise (which is about the only thing we’ve come to entirely expect from her).
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Pre-order all editions from JB Hi-Fi here.
The significance of THAT release time and date:
The QUEEN of shade, I think we all know Taylor knew what she was doing when she announced at the VMAs during her winning speech. Immediate flashbacks to when Ye interrupted her in 2009, a feud which has since been inflamed by his music video for ‘Famous’ and encouraged by Kim Kardashian, Taylor made very sure that all eyes would be on her this year. October 21 is also Kim’s birthday, adding further fuel to the speculation that it’s a deliberate decision – and we know Taylor does everything for a reason. She’s slyly calculating, super smart and always has a plan A – and a plan B.
She’s had this planned for a while – years.
I’d run many financial bets that Taylor has had this planned since, like, probably 2014. It’s definitely one of those things that you wouldn’t have probably thought about until now – and then it’s all you think about. Her late night, particularly midnight references are scattered, little clued-up evening stars through much of her past discography. For example, the direct “I want your midnights, but I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day” from Reputation’s ‘New Year’s Day’ and 22’s now-iconic ‘it feels like a perfect night / for breakfast at midnight”, among many, many others. Fully another example of Taylor hiding endless Easter eggs for as long as we’ve known her, and most of us missing them. Except that one Twitter stan, who I saw guessed it in August before the VMAs. Kudos to them, honestly.
That’s basically all we know at the time of publication, but if you’re anything like us, you have QUESTIONS. Let’s break down some of the most obvious ones together, and cast our hats into the metaphorical guessing ring. That way if nothing below is correct, it’s totally not just on us.
Will there be a lead single?
Historically, the safe answer is yes – but when has Taylor ever played it safe and gone with what fans actually expect? Historically, not very often, so this could be a total red herring – hey, a girl can dream though, right? Usually, lead singles are announced before the actual album, and Midnights is already juuuust around the corner – but we’ll have to wait and see.
WHAT in the world does this mean for the re-recordings?!
Ever since Red (Taylor’s Version) was sent forth into the world, speculation has been rife over when we will get another re-recording. With theories flying about Speak Now TV on the way, hope is high that this will lead into another purple past era – cue the sparkles, glitter and lilac dresses, especially with the vinyl theories. With the recent release of This Love (Taylor’s Version) however, fans could very well need to gear up for a rerecorded 1989 soon as well. With NZ heading into summer, it’s surely not biased to say that a little ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ and a fresh version of ‘22’ would be super incred for this time of year…
By Taylor standards realistically, up to this point a fair amount has in fact been shared about Midnights, but it’s definitely not quelled our excitement. Fans are back on the rollercoaster that is Swift’s Easter eggs, and we can’t wait to see what this next album has in store when it finally hits streaming platforms soon.