From Taylor Newbie to Veteran Swiftie: How to Prep For Midnights
Article by Sofia Ramos
Credit: Rolling Stone UK
For the longest time, my knowledge of Taylor Swift amounted to just three things:
That she was a country pop-star;
Seven-year-old me was obsessed with watching the You Belong With Me music video on repeat; and
She loves cats.
It was not until around this time last year that I grew my list of what I knew about her. I finally understood the whole idea behind the Taylor’s Version re-recorded albums. If you still don’t know why Taylor re-recorded those albums, here is a snapshot: Up until that point, she did not own the masters to her own music – this allowed her record label (at the time) to block her from using any of her own music in projects such as her own Netflix documentary.
Obviously upon the re-recording of her albums Red and Fearless, fans were convinced that her next release would be another re-recording (perhaps of even Speak Now), and were shocked to learn that it would in fact be her tenth original studio album – Midnights! Swift took to Twitter in August telling us “[Midnights is] the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.”
Since the initial announcement at this year’s VMAs, Swifties have taken the internet by storm – posting conspiracies and Easter egg breakdowns across YouTube and TikTok from hints they’ve found in her posts. Taylor is known to love her Easter eggs and has been giving her fans these hints between albums since her debut at 15; whether they be hidden messages in the lyrics of her CD booklets or messages in her music video (as we’ve seen in Reputation) Taylor loves to give her fans clues to play with (admitting that she sometimes even plans up to three years in advance!). Even Jimmy Fallon recently explored the cryptic messages that she’s left her fans in the weeks leading up to her latest album’s release.
Knowing the excitement that uncovering top-secret info brings her fans, this time around, Taylor has taken to TikTok to share the missing pieces to the puzzle. In a series that she has dubbed as “Midnights Mayhem With Me,” which she began on September 21st (a month before release), she has been dropping the names of the entire album at (of course) midnight of each night, holding a red phone to her ear. One track, “Snow on the Beach,” will be the long awaited Lana Del Rey feature, and the album will also include a track titled “Karma,” which fans have long speculated to be about the 2016 feud between Swift, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian...not to mention, the album's set to release on Kim's birthday. In some of the reveal videos, Swift holds the phone right side up, and in others it is upside down…sifting through all the conspiracies, fans are eager to know the real reason why.
In the past, across her entire discography, Taylor has mentioned “midnight” in six songs and “the middle of the night” in seven songs; the title of this album being a nod toward her previous work and different times in her life where she’s reinvented herself (all while attempting to remain authentic and true to herself). Some fans even believe the flipped phone, complementing her announcement for songs “Anti-hero” and “Vigilante Shit,” will represent these alter-egos of hers.
With the clock ticking down to midnight of October 21st, and fans preparing to tune in, the Rowdy Nation’s holding on to the edge of their seats, waiting to see what the latest version of Taylor has in store.
Sofia is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine.