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The Most Anticipated Midnight Ever

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCU chapter.

Holy shit!

I know hardcore Swifties have been predicting a new Taylor album for months now, but I know for a fact those speculations revolved around the potential re-records of Speak Now and 1989. In no world did we common folk fans expect a brand new album announcement on a random Sunday.

But I suppose no matter your level of conspiratorial investment in Taylor’s master schemes, the surprise VMA reveal is a reason for all to celebrate.

In case you missed it, Swift won video of the year for her short film “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)”, starring Stranger Things‘ Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, who most recently appeared in the hit Hulu movie Not Okay. When Taylor approached the stage to deliver her speech in an iconic sparkling silver dress (an obvious nod to her “Look What You Made Me Do” music video), she shocked the crowd with a jaw-dropping reveal.

“I know with every second of this moment that we wouldn’t have been able to make this short film if it weren’t for you, the fans, because I wouldn’t be able to re-record my albums if it weren’t for you. You emboldened me to do that,” she began. “And I had sort of made up my mind that, if you were going to be this generous and give us this, I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand-new album comes out October 21. And I will tell you more at midnight.”

– Taylor Swift, 2022 VMAs

(Wait, what was she going to do if she didn’t win? Not tell us?!)

I mean talk about classic verbal dramatics, but effective nonetheless. The crowd at the VMAs went wild, and a feral internet frenzy followed not long after. So what exactly does this announcement mean? What does this new album indicate about Taylor’s future works? And what do you need to know to pass the entry exam needed to buy a Folklovermore at Midnight tour ticket?

Following the awards show, Taylor’s Instagram post revealed that her new album Midnights would be 13 tracks following 13 sleepless nights throughout her life. Midnights will drop on October 21, 2022. Fans are already theorizing as to what this album is meant to be. Some believe it was supposedly the sister album to Lover, which was originally called Daylight, thus making them two sides of the same coin. This theory stems from final lyrics in the album referencing what “[haunts her] in the middle of the night” as well as an artistic comment which identifies that the art for Midnights resembles the back of a traditional album rather than the front. This defends the idea that Lover or Daylight had a B-Side which was derailed due to COVID when Taylor produced Folklore and Evermore. Others speculate it’s a series of tracks left off prior albums. Even more fans think that the titles of the 13 songs are actually hidden in her paragraph post, scattered throughout the album’s poetic description.

Fans have also picked up on the significance of the number 13. It’s been 13 years since the 2009 VMAs when Kanye West crashed Taylor’s acceptance speech. Her glittering dress also alluded to her temporary feud with Kanye as “Look What You Made Me Do” was a response to his actions. To top it off, Midnights is going to release on Kim Kardashian’s birthday. Say what you will, but Taylor takes revenge to new lengths.

Megafans even went back in time to hunt down previous hints to the announcement of Midnights. In an Instagram post on May 5th, Taylor’s caption promoting “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” for The Summer I Turned Pretty concluded with “… This Love (Taylor’s Version) comes out tonight at m i d n i g h t.” The spaced-out final word turned out to be an obvious hint at her future album, and not, in fact, a subtle reference to “Blank Space” from 1989 (plot twist!).

Although the deep dive backward is endless, the information in front of our eyes is plenty confusing on its own. Taylor’s Spotify has changed to include artwork of a clock counting down to midnight. The numbers range in color, which some have concluded must indicate the era in which she wrote or experienced the inspiration for a song as the colors coincide with past album art schemes.

The most troubling theory of all though, is that Swifties also believe Taylor might tap out after 13 total albums. Having existed in and dominated the music industry since circa 2006, Midnights seems to indicate a move towards goodbye, an end of a day, and an era. If this holds true, we’re looking at three more new albums after Midnights plus any re-records she plans to release, before Swift says goodnight to her music career.

Personally, I hope Taylor proves even wilder than fan theories. It’s so much fun to listen to her music, but part of her appeal and legacy is her mystery component that has people guessing (and then second-guessing) what she plans to do next. She’s the definition of an entertainment genius, and I’m positive Midnights will be an accurate reflection of the mind and soul that concocts such confusing clues. Enjoy creating your own theories, or if you’re like me, make bets on which existing ones are right. Good luck!

Colleen Wyrick is President of the Her Campus at TCU chapter. She enjoys writing about current pop culture events, female empowerment, and her latest book/TV interest. She loves her role and connecting with new members! Colleen is an aspiring writer/editor/publisher/professor and is a junior (*sigh*) at Texas Christian University studying English and Communication. In addition to Her Campus, she contributes to academic publications for the English Department and works for TCU’s social media team. She is very passionate about books, Marvel, chocolate, soccer, and all things comfortable. You can find her doing anything and everything because she loves new adventures!