As the clock struck midnight, a new era of music began for Taylor Swift as she debuted her 10th studio album, midnight.
When she announced the album, Swift hinted that it would share more personal stories, something she went away from with her. Folklore and Forever albums, describing it as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights spanning my life.”
“This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through horrors and sweet dreams,” Swift wrote. “The floors we pacify and the demons we face. For all of us who toss and turn and have decided to leave the lanterns on and go and search – in the hope that maybe we’ll meet when the clock strikes twelve. ‘
Fans have been wondering what direction and sounds the new era would bring after Swift’s last indie folk chapter, Folklore and Forever. midnight marks Swift’s return to a pop soundscape with longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff working with her on the album.
Swift called in an Instagram post midnight “a wild rideand how happy she was to reunite with Antonoff. “We’ve been making music together for almost a decade,” she wrote. “HEVER… this is our first album we’ve made with just the two of us as main collaborators.”
She went on to explain that she and Antonoff had been playing around with ideas and writing a few things together, but it really clicked when their partners—Swift’s long-term boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, and Antonoff’s girlfriend, Margaret Qualley—shot. Stars at 12 noon together in Panama.
“Jack and I found ourselves back in New York, alone, shooting every night, staying up late and exploring old memories and midnight pasts,” Swift continued, yelling at their colleagues. “midnight is a collage of intensity, highs and lows and ebb and flow. Life can be dark, starry, cloudy, terrifying, exciting, hot, cold, romantic or lonely. Like midnight.”
Ahead of the album’s debut, a teaser trailer of Swift’s “secret projects” was released during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. It was announced that Swift also “midnight music films’, where she will once again collaborate with cameraman Rina Yang for the images.
“I love telling stories, I love writing songs, I love writing videos, I love directing them. And this was a really nice opportunity to work with cameraman Rina Yang again, who was my collaborator on the 10-minute short film ‘All Too Well’,” she said.
“We wanted to challenge ourselves to do different things this time,” Swift said of the upcoming videos that will help explore “the world of this record” visually. “I’m really proud of what we’ve made and I really hope you like them. We’ve worked with some great actors, which you’ll learn about at the end of the teaser trailer,” she continued to tease.
The trailer shows Swift taking on different personas with the videos featuring Antonoff, Laura Dern, Alana Haim, Danielle Haim, Este Haim, Pat McGrath, Laith Ashley, Jon Early, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Dita Von Teese and Mike Birbiglia.
The midnight Music Films marks the first time Swift has had a accompanied visual album.
In the days leading up to the new album’s release on October 21, the superstar has been building expectations for fans by launching a ‘Midnights Mayhem With Me’ series on TikTok, in which she would reveal a song title from the tracklist. Under the numbers on midnight is a collaboration with Lana Del Rey called “Snow on the Beach,” which Swift described in an explainer video as about two people falling in love at the same time, comparing that feeling to witnessing snow falling on the beach. Meanwhile, “Lavender Haze,” which Zoë Kravitz credits as one of the songwriters, uses the phrase “Lavender Haze” to describe the romantic feeling of being in love. Swift revealed she learned the phrase while watching crazy men and realized it’s a 50’s saying to describe infatuation. “Being in the lavender mist meant you were in that all-encompassing love glow, and I really liked that,” she said.
Simultaneously with the release of her new album, she will also debut a music video for her new single “Anti-Hero” on Friday. On social media, Swift described the song as “one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.” “I really don’t think I’ve delved that far into my insecurities in this detail before,” she said. “I struggle a lot with the idea that my life has become unmanageably big, and not to sound too dark, I just struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person.” She also said the song is a “real tour” of “all the things I hate about myself.” Throughout the song, Swift describes various insecurities and personal fears, noting that it can be “tiring always rooting for the antihero” and describing herself as “the problem”.
Aside from falling and being in love, other songs on the album reminisce about lessons learned (“You’re on Your Own, Kid”), breakups (“Bejeweled,” “Maroon”), revenge fantasy (“Vigilante Shit,” ” Karma”) and what could have been (“Midnight rain”).
Later on Thursday, Swift surprised fans by revealing seven additional bonus tracks called Midnight 3 o’clock Edition. “Surprise! I’m thinking of midnight as a complete concept album, with those 13 tracks providing a full picture of the intensity of that mystifying, crazy hour. However! There were other songs we wrote on our journey to find that magical 13,” Swift tweeted. Additional tracks include “The Great War,” “Bigger Than The Whole Sky,” “Paris,” “High Infidelity,” “Glitch,” “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” and “Dear Reader.” ‘.
Other surprises are already in store with the release of the album. In a calendar of events shared on her social media, the singer-songwriter noted that a music video for another midnight track will be released on Tuesday, October 24, but it has not been announced which track.
Swift worked with Antonoff, who has worked for the midnight album, with William Bowery also credited as songwriter for the song “Sweet Nothing” – Swift has since revealed the mystery songwriter is her boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn. Others on the album include Mark A Spears, Keanu Torres, Jahaan Sweet and Sam Dew.
midnight follows Swift’s first new album since her Folklore and Forever albums — Folklore won album of the year at the 2021 Grammys. Swift also re-records all of her early discography, including: Taylor Swift (2006), fearless (2008), speak now (2010), Red (2012), 1989 (2014) and 2017 Reputation. Swift recently released Red (Taylor’s version) and directed the short film for the original 10-minute version of her revered song, “All Too Well.”