Many people haven’t been able to rest. One of the reasons: Taylor Swift and the cryptic clues she leaves as she storms in.
Taylor received her award and gave us chaos back.
Chaos, in the way that swifties can see light again and get excited about something, that is.
On Sunday night, Taylor Swift was giving her speech as the winner of “Video of the year” at the VMAs 2022 (as she should, really; the All Too Well short film was a cinematic experience. Pop off, film-director-grammy-award-winner-doctor-basically-the-music-industry Taylor Swift).
But she wasn’t standing there only to thank her fans for all the support; she was also there to, oh, announce that her tenth studio album, Midnights, was coming out on October 21.
Naturally, that caused a gigantic, frenetic reaction that practically set thousands of people around the world on fire. Nothing else could have been expected, really.
Later that night she made it official via her social media. On Instagram, she posted the album artwork and the number of tracks that would be on it (13), and along with it a statement written by her explaining the album.
“We lie awake in love and in fear, in turmoil and in tears. We stare at walls and drink until they speak back. We twist in our self-made cages and pray that we aren’t – right this minute – about to make some fateful life-altering mistake,” Taylor wrote. Lying awake in turmoil and tears will be the way people spend their nights after Midnights is released.
She went on, telling us that this album was a kaleidoscope of music written amidst the night, a “journey through terrors and sweet dreams”.
The next thing she wrote screams «this is me trying» (a song on Taylor’s eighth album Folklore).
“The floors we pace and the demons we face. 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.”
She finished saying when it will come out, leaving everyone with a bittersweet taste on their tongues and minds blank.
After all the crying that turned into screaming, throwing up, jumping out of the window (metaphorically speaking, of course), and other similar actions, people started to put their minds to work. Thus the sleepless nights and unrested days.
For outsiders, this might be overwhelming and they might think that we are overly-obsessed people with no grip whatsoever on our lives. Truth be told, that might be partly true.
See, Taylor Swift – ever since the beginning – has been known for leaving secret clues and Easter Eggs in everything.
So, it’s understandable and completely logical if people start looking for those cryptic messages as if they were an enigma.
And there are a lot of things that have been suspected and theorized about until now.
-The night of the announcement
First of all, let’s talk about the night of the VMAs. Exactly 13 years ago (13 is Taylor’s lucky number), Taylor had been rudely interrupted at the 2009 VMAs by Kanye West, who had said that Taylor didn’t deserve that award and that the award instead belonged to Beyoncé.
What does it have to do with anything? That night the light spot was stolen from Taylor, lighting up instead the drama. On Sunday, she redirected it and took it back.
Another fact that supports this theory is Swift’s dress, which looks pretty similar to the one she was wearing in the “Look What You Made Me Do” music video, which resembled the one she wore at the 2009 VMAs.
There is another theory, though, about all of this. More depressing, if you will. Some fans say that it could be a way to end it all. They say Taylor had started, really started, her journey as an artist that year (2009); and then, thirteen years later, she was in the same place, giving it closure. Midnights refer to the end of the day, and the songs on this album have been written throughout Taylor’s life. People – when piecing together everything they know about the album (theories and facts) – think that it points to Swift’s final album. It would be a clean way of wrapping everything up; like a closing ceremony of the ups and downs of her career, a fan said.
But – for the sake of everyone – we will be ignoring that.
-Three year’s notice
In an interview last year, she said she sometimes planned things with three years of anticipation. And do you know what came out three years ago? Lover, Taylor’s seventh album, the one she wanted to name “Daylight”. Daylight, the opposite of Midnight.
A fan on TikTok said that people were forgetting the fact that Taylor said that Lover was supposed to have a side B, a blue side.
Daylight, Lover’s last track, finished with the lyrics: “I wanna be defined by the things that I love/ Not the things I hate/ Not the things that I’m afraid of, I’m afraid of/ Not the things that haunt me in the middle of the night”.
Things that haunt me in the middle of the night – that’s what Midnights is about.
To follow the thread, others said that maybe Midnights would start by picking up where it (the voicemail at the end of Daylight) left. Maybe track one is the continuation of Daylight, a gray sequel.
Are we getting a folkloresque, sad girl autumn album?
-Bombshells between words
Let’s go back to Taylor’s Instagram post: the album artwork along with the number of tracks and an introduction to what we should expect.
There’s side A and side B; there are two paragraphs that contain the main information.
A fan of, once again, TikTok speculated that Taylor had left the tracks’ names hidden within her words. The specification of the words, the division of the paragraphs, the way the phrases are broken. Fans think Taylor did that on purpose. For example, one track could be called “We Lie Awake” or “In Love”, words that can be found on the text.
Daily, more theories are created. Like agents on a mission, swifties make their goal to understand the self-made language that Taylor invented. They are eager to open the curtain, to look past understanding and explanation.
But there’s something exciting about the secrecy of it all, of not knowing, of analyzing flying dust and trying to find the euphemism of air.
All that’s left is to wait.
And hyperventilate over the fact that Taylor Swift is dropping her 10th album.