Taylor Swift’s musical journey has been effortlessly versatile. In the initial stages of her career with ”Debut,” “Fearless” and “Speak Now,” Swift’s music was characterized by its country influences. Through releasing her fourth album, “Red,” she shed her original persona and went on to adopt that of a popstar. The switch was incredibly drastic, but Swift has remained increasingly successful. Even in her more recent albums, we witness her willingness to experiment with different genres. In “folklore” and “evermore,” her eighth and ninth albums, listeners got to hear Swift’s take on folk and indie music, and during her acceptance speech for the VMA’s Video of the Year Award, she announced her tenth studio album, “Midnights.” It will be released on Oct. 21.
The artist has said very little regarding the contents of the album; moreover, much of what she has said has been relatively obscure. For instance, Swift says that the forthcoming album is “a collection of [13 tracks] written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.” She continues on to say that “[it surrounds] the floors we pace and the demons we face. [It is for all of us] who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching — hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve … we’ll meet ourselves.”
Overall, given her vast musical undertaking, it’s difficult to predict precisely what sound and concept she will opt for. However, a theory that I’ve come across and personally choose to believe is that “Midnights” is a foil of her 2019 album, “Lover.”
Essentially, where “Lover” discusses the splendor and radiance of romance, “Midnights” will supplement it with conversation regarding feelings of loneliness.
I think this theory is not without some degree of support. After its release, Swift reported that “Lover” was initially to be titled “Daylight,” which just so happens to be the name of the song that concludes her 2019 “Lover” album.
More suspiciously, “Daylight” ends with a recording of Swift saying the following: “I want to be defined by the things that I love. Not the things I hate. Not the things I’m afraid of, I’m afraid of. Not the things that haunt me in the middle of the night. I just think you are what you love.”
This quote is intriguing, as it blatantly brings up the motif of midnight. Swift is
known for planning in advance and embedding Easter eggs into her work, so I don’t think the outro recording is without a purpose.
However, many fans have other beliefs. For example, rather than it being a sister album to “Lover,” some assume that it will take on qualities similar to her fifth studio album, “1989.” Though I am a fan of the “Lover” theory, I can’t deny the visual similarities between the two. “Midnights” and “1989” both adopt a simplistic cover art with hues of blue, beige, and soft reds. Though not a Polaroid, the “Midnights” cover also has a prominent white border.
It would make sense artistically too, as Swift hasn’t released anything with her iconic pop sound in a while. Swift is constantly creating, so it is also very likely that her upcoming album is entirely original and possesses no connections to her previous ones. Not to worry, though —fans won’t be sleepless for too long. Meet her at midnight on Oct. 21 to find out.