Three years, four albums.
Does the prolific nature of Taylor Swift ever abate?
The country-turned-pop-turned-folk-turned-whatever-she-wants-to-tackle-next luminary announced her new album, “Midnights,” in August while scooping up video of the year honors for “All Too Well” at MTV’s Video Music Awards.
She promptly broke the internet with the news of her impending 10th studio album, arriving Oct. 21 and co-produced with her longtime working partner Jack Antonoff.
It’s a concept album with dusky overtones, dedicated to “all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching,” as she said in a statement illustrating the backstory of the album.
While there are still many blank spaces to be filled in, here’s what we know so far about Swift’s upcoming creation.
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What is Taylor Swift’s new ‘Midnights’ album about?
Appealing to the anxiety-ridden insomniac in all of us, Swift has crafted 13 songs (her signature number ) that she says are “stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.”
Musically, we don’t know if she’ll lean toward the rootsier introspection found on her past two albums, “Folklore” and “Evermore,” or the candy-coated barbed lyricism found on 2019’s “Lover.” But Swift, 32, has indicated there are some deep thoughts coloring her upcoming work.
In her social media post announcing the arrival of “Midnights,” she called the songs “a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams” with references to how we might “twist in our self-made cages and pray that we aren’t – right this minute – about to make some fateful life-altering mistake.”
Taylor Swift revealed the first song title on TikTok
Poking fun at her habit of releasing “cryptic” clues and Easter eggs throughout not only her lyrics and videos but also in the meticulously crafted run-ups to every new album, Swift appeared on TikTok at midnight (naturally) Sept. 21 to announce the title of one of the new songs.
Cranking a lottery ball machine with 13 white, numbered spheres to indicate the 13 songs on “Midnights,” Swift said she was leaving it “up to fate” to determine which title to initially divulge.
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The first ball selected? Track No. 13 (“But of course,” Swift said with a smile). The song is called “Mastermind” and the unveiling was the first in a series she’s dubbed “Midnights Mayhem with Me.”
On Friday at midnight, Swift – accompanied by her beloved kitty Meredith, who offered her own meowing commentary – announced the eyebrow-raising title for Track No. 8, “Vigilante S***.”
Upcoming TikTok installments will arrive sporadically (Swift loves to surprise). But with 11 more titles to divulge in the month until “Midnights” lands, the mathematically adept can deduce that there will be more than one revelation per week.
The album’s visuals suggest Taylor Swift is going retro. Maybe?
“Midnights” will arrive with four different album covers depicting Swift in visuals that evoke a potent ’70s vibe, including wood-paneled walls, a black push-button phone (the kind with a cord, kids!) and a sans serif font for the album title that immediately spawned a cluster of memes.
Three vinyl versions of “Midnights” will be offered in limited-edition color variants: jade green, mahogany and “blood moon” (aka orange marbled). The fourth is standard black.
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The back of each album cover includes a sector of a dial which, when arranged in a square, forms a clock.
Her decision to release the album in four vinyl editions, four CD editions and a cassette (and don’t forget the Target-exclusive CD with three bonus tracks) is a canny, Swiftian move. The dedication of her obsessive fans ready to splurge on multiple versions of the physical product will surely result in mega-sales, likely catapulting her to the biggest release of 2022.