Taylor Swift announced on Aug. 28 at the VMAs she has a new album coming out Oct. 21, and fans have been speculating about her tenth album — which we now know is called “Midnights” — for quite some time.
With a beautiful blue color palette, the album cover potentially hints at things to come, but there were hints long before the album announcement came that new music was on the horizon.
Hints may have come from merchandise
Swift has been anything but subtle regarding this new album release. While selling merchandise for “evermore,” Swift hinted at a new album with several blue and grey limited-edition items, including a grey cardigan.
Fans speculated this meant a new album was coming, a fun surprise after several re-recordings. Another item causing a lot of speculation was the scrunchie set, boasting a blue color palette among the distinct colors associated with previous albums “folklore” and “evermore.” It may seem like silly fan speculation, but it does make sense — Swift is notorious for giving fans nuggets of information around new album releases, and with the looming release of “Midnights,” it would make sense these were clues.
Mood and aesthetic prediction
If we assume that a blue-and-grey color palette is supposed to be associated with “Midnights,” then we can infer that it will be a somber album speckled with acoustic guitar and country-inspired drums.
However, I don’t want to think of “Midnights” as a sibling to the confirmed sister albums “folklore” and “evermore.” That story has already been told. I think “Midnights” will be a sister album to “Red,” the pop-rock album, as we’re currently in an indie sleaze revival.
With its candid flash photography and American Apparel clothes, this late 2000s, early 2010s fashion movement focused on comfort and spontaneity. The resemblance between old American Apparel ads and Swift’s new album cover is uncanny. The fonts and image cropping are almost identical.
Additionally, I don’t think this will be an upbeat album. Most music associated with indie sleaze is vaguely pop inspired with driving beats and a pinch of synth. I do think this will be a more somber album, given that it’s comprised of songs that are written about that complex hour of midnight.
Sonic and lyrical predictions
I really do want this to be an indie sleaze-inspired somber album. I’m hoping for a lean toward rock music, as I always am, but more specifically light electric guitar and meandering lyrics. Swift has already showed us her lyrical range, my favorites being “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” from her “Red” re-recording and “mirrorball” from “folklore,” and I desperately want her to delve into Dallon Weekes-esque songwriting.
I think her biggest influence will be Bleachers for this album. She has been working with Jack Antonoff –– mastermind of –– for years now, proving their amazing musical partnership. I want her to create something like “I Wanna Get Better” since some of her promotional pictures seem to be more somber in tone.
My final prediction? A mix of Sky Ferriera’s album “Night Time, My Time” and Lorde’s album “Melodrama.” In the spirit of anticipation, I created a playlist of tunes that I’d love to see serve as musical and lyrical influences for this album.