Swift Has Kept Us In The Dark: Thoughts on “Midnights” Album Release Announcement

Abby Faeth

For Taylor Swift fans, Everything Has Changed since last week. Some Swifties may have thought that she was thinking something along the lines of “I Forgot That You Existed,” as she had been leaving fans in the dark about her next release plans. Nevertheless, we now know that Swift has definitely been working like a Madwoman to create a new album for her fans. 

Swift announced that she will be releasing a new album titled “Midnights,” on Oct. 21. The pop star describes the new album as “the story of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.” In her recent Instagram post, Swift is pictured in one photo hunched over at a table, her head in her hands in dimmed light. 

“We lie awake in love and in fear, in turmoil and in tears,” Swift wrote in the caption. “We stare at walls and drink until they speak. We twist in our self-made cages and pray that they aren’t — right this minute — about to make some fateful life-altering mistake.” In another photo, Swift is seen holding a lighter up to illuminate her face. 

There is certainly some symbolism behind this Instagram announcement, as there is the presence of both darkness and light. This ominous post made me even more excited for this release. The October album seems to be both dark and light, as it is a “journey through terrors and sweet dreams.” I usually find that the more emotional a Swift song is, the better it resonates with her fanbase and beyond.  

Swift teased the new album when she won multiple awards for “All Too Well: The Short Film” at the MTV Video Music Awards. Immediately after the show, album pre-releases were available for purchase on her website. Personally, I think it was a good move for Swift to preview her album on the MTV awards, and it speaks to her success as a musician in how she was accepting awards for a previous album while announcing an upcoming album. 

Swifties were most recently left with the rerecording of “Red” last November. That album felt nostalgic to me, as it was all old songs I knew and even grew up listening to, but conveyed by Swift’s more mature and elegant voice nine years after the original album. With her recent re-recordings, I suspected her next album would be the rerecording of 1989 instead. 

I am definitely happy that Swift is giving us new music, even though I love her old styles too. In a way, the new album gives us a way to better connect with Swift and her perspective. Additionally, the album is about various moments in her life, so it will still give us that nostalgic feel while also offering some new perspectives through her lyrical masterpieces. 

As with any Taylor Swift album, a multitude of theories has risen among fans since the announcement. There are many Swifties that craft theories from her social media posts, interviews and previous songs. Oftentimes, these theories have proven to be true. Swift is known for dropping hints and often plans them years in advance. To this point, when Swift was on “The Tonight Show” last year, she discussed her hidden clues, saying “It’s sort of a tradition that we started a very long time ago. I think the first time that I started dropping sort of cryptic clues in my music was when I was…14 or 15, putting together my first album.” 

One possible theory is that this announcement was planned based on the previous incident between Kanye West and Swift at the VMAs in 2009. This possible conscious decision of announcing the new album at the VMAs exactly happened 13 years (known as Taylor’s lucky number) after the incident of humiliation. She also wore a similar silver dress for last week’s award… possibly a revenge ensemble? Specifically, in 2009, her moment was taken, but now in 2022, she took this moment for herself and her new upcoming album “Midnights.” 

This is just one theory about Swift’s new album that is out there. However, I’m sure there will be much more clarity after Swift’s release this coming October. The one thing I know for certain is I will definitely be waiting until Midnight for this upcoming album.