Taylor Swift made a surprise appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 29, and she shocked fans with her big announcement at the show. While accepting the award for Video of the Year for her “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” Short Film, Taylor revealed that she had a new album coming out. She also said that she’d be giving more details at midnight, which was less than one hour away at the time.
True to her promise, Taylor announced the upcoming release of her 10th studio album, Midnights, at 12:00 on the dot. Although Taylor dropped some never-before-heard songs with the re-releases of Fearless and Red in 2021, this is her first full, new album since Evermore in 2020. Learn more about the record below!
While making her album announcement at the VMAs, Taylor also revealed that Midnights will be released on Oct. 21, 2022. She shared the album’s cover, as well, which features a close-up of her face. She’s wearing glittery blue eye shadow and holding up a lit lighter. The cover also confirmed that there will be 13 tracks on the album.
In addition to the actual record, Target will be releasing a Deluxe version of Midnights. The Deluxe record, which is called the “Lavender Version,” includes two remixes and one additional bonus track. Taylor also kicked off September by announcing that there are Special Edition covers available for Midnights. They were on sale for one week after the announcement.
Of course, Taylor never goes small and always has something hidden in her work. On Sept. 16, she revealed that if the Midnights album and three Special Editions are placed next to each other in a square, the numbers on their back covers form a clock. It’s all in the details!
On Sept. 20, TikTok urged fans to check out Taylor’s page on the app at midnight. That evening, she released her new segment “Midnights Mayhem With Me,” which featured her revealing track names from the Midnights album. Following the first segment, Taylor continued “Midnights Mayhem With Me” every few days at midnight, revealing one track at a time. She used a random lottery ball spinner to decide which track would be shared each day.
The first track Taylor shared was track 13, which is called “Mastermind.” She followed it up with track 8, which is called “Vigilante S***.” On Sept. 26, she revealed track 7, “Question…?” and on Sept. 28, she shared that track 6 is called “Midnight Rain.” Friday, Sept. 30 brought the reveal of track 2, which is “Maroon.”
Next up, on Oct. 3, Taylor shared that Track 3 will be called “Anti-Hero.” Along with that announcement, she also posted a “Behind The Song” video for the track, explaining what it is about. “Anti-Hero is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before. I struggled a lot with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized and — not to sound too dark — but I struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person. Don’t feel bad for me, you don’t need to, but this song really is a real guided tour throughout all the things I tend to hate about myself. We all hate things about ourselves and it’s all of those aspects of things we dislike and like about ourselves that we have to come to terms with if we’re going to be this person. I like “Anti-Hero” a lot because it’s really honest.”
Taylor confirmed that track 9 is called “Bejeweled” on Oct. 5, but then she really threw fans for a loop with her Oct. 6 announcement, when she shared that track 11 is called “Karma.” For Swifties, there’s long been a theory that Taylor was supposed to release an album in 2016. The theory claims that Taylor scrapped the album amidst her feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. She reignited the theory in her 2020 music video for “The Man” when she included a scene with all of her album names spray-painted on a wall along with the word “KARMA.” From then on, fans were convinced that the scrapped album was called “Karma.” Needless to say, Taylor’s fans went absolutely nuts when they saw that this was a song title on Midnights, and even Taylor was in on the joke, as she chuckled while announcing the track on TikTok.
The tracklist so far:
Taylor took a step in a different direction with her last two new albums, Folklore and Evermore, in 2020. The records had more of an indie/alternative sound, which strayed from her former pop and country roots. Well, it looks like we’re back to the POP genre on Midnights. The album is listed as a ‘pop’ record.
Taylor also shared some behind-the-scenes clips from the making of Midnights on social media. In the footage, Jack Antonoff appears alongside her in the studio. Jack and Taylor collaborated heavily on 1989, which was her first full foray into pop music. He’s also been the producer on many of her most fan-loved pop songs. Some of the songs Jack and Taylor have worked on together include “Cruel Summer,” “Call It What You Want,” “Getaway Car” and “Out Of The Woods,” so fans are expecting that vibe on this record.
Meanwhile, Taylor also gave some insight into the inspiration behind Midnights when she announced the album in August. “We lie awake in love and in fear, in turmoil and in tears,” she wrote. “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.”
The message continued, “This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams. 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. Midnights, the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life fie, will be out October 21. Meet me at midnight.”
Based on Taylor’s message, it appears that Midnights will tell various stories throughout her life, and not just from her last album to now. However, she has not revealed the specific inspiration behind any of the tracks just yet.
Since Taylor was in the midst of re-releasing some of her records when she announced Midnights, many are wondering what the timeline is for the rest of those re-records. So far, Taylor dropped two re-recorded albums, Fearless and Red, which means she has four more to go: Taylor Swift, Speak Now, 1989 and Reputation.
Taylor has already released the full re-recorded versions of “This Love” and “Wildest Dreams” from 1989, as well as a clip from the new version of “Bad Blood.” This led fans to believe that 1989 (Taylor’s Version) would be her next record. However, without any warning, Taylor dropped the Midnights bomb on us instead!
The truth of the matter is that, like many things with Taylor…we simply don’t know! We can expect her to give Midnights some time to marinate before the next re-recording is released, but a timeline has not been shared just yet.
Taylor is re-recording her first six records so she can earn the Master’s to the music. She tried to buy the Master’s from her old record label, Big Machine, but was denied the right to do so by label head Scott Borchetta, who discovered Taylor as a teenager. Rather than just letting Taylor buy the Master’s flat-out, Scott wanted her to record six new albums for Big Machine in order to earn back the rights to each of the albums. Taylor did not want to take that deal, so she left Big Machine in 2018, and in 2020, she began the process of re-recording.