Taylor Swift sparks “Midnights” mayhem

Swift explores 13 sleepless nights (plus some extra surprises) in her 10th studio album.


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Swift’s newly released album “Midnights” delves into vulnerability, relationships and regret.

Auburn Todd, Freelance Writer

From a surprise announcement in September to multiple midnight meetings, the prolific Taylor Swift finally released her 10th studio album titled “Midnights.” After the release of “Red (Taylor’s Version)” last November, fans have speculated about the singer’s next move — which was almost everything but the release of a brand-new album. 


The album includes things that fans have been wondering about for years, like track 11,  “Karma,” and a long-awaited collaboration with Lana Del Rey on track 4, “Snow on the Beach.” This album marks another collaboration with producer Jack Antonoff, who has been working with Swift since 2013 and, notably, produced her “folklore” and “evermore” albums. 

To newer fans, this album may seem like a detour from her lyrical tapestries — but really it is a return to so many of the things she has done before. Found throughout the pop album are musical and lyrical parallels to some of her best work. If you listen closely to tracks like “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” “Question…?,” “Karma” and “Sweet Nothing,” you may see auditory threads to albums like “Speak Now,” “1989,” “reputation” and “Lover.” 

While she is a talented storyteller, there is little Taylor Swift can write about better than herself. When describing the album, Swift said, “‘Midnights’ is a collage of intensity, highs and lows and ebbs and flows.” She credits those midnights that kept her up to “self-loathing, fantasizing about revenge, wondering what might have been, falling in love and falling apart.” In covering this range of themes and styles, there is truly something for everyone on “Midnights.”


Prior to the release of the album, Swift labeledAnti-Hero” as her most vulnerable song to date. She said it is the most honest about the way she sometimes sees herself, and all the things she hates about herself. It’s a commentary on the industry, aging, sexualization and self-loathing. Another version of Swift shows up as the problem in the music video, demonstrating the way Swift’s insecurity and fears haunt her. 

In the vein of all Taylor Swift albums, track 5 is emotional. Joining songs like “The Archer,” “my tears ricochet,” and “All Too Well,” “You’re On Your Own, Kid” explores Swift’s relationship with fame and feeling isolated through it. Out of all the songs on Midnights, “You’re On Your Own, Kid” may best represent the album. 

Fans have been wondering about “Karma” since 2016. The word showed up in songs and music videos — but what was once a rumored unreleased album is now Swift’s confrontation of those who have wronged her. This theme is not new to Swift’s music: “Karma” introduces Swift’s conviction that what goes around comes around. Through the song she describes what fate could befall her enemies — and how she is avoiding the fallout. 

Prior to the album release, Taylor Swift showed fans a schedule of events for the week of the album. The schedule included a 3am EST “special very chaotic surprise;” fans then had days to make their guesses. Ultimately, the surprise turned out to be the 3am Edition of “Midnights,” an extra seven songs added to the original 13. A standout track from the edition is “Would’ve, Should’ve, Could’ve.” This song could be considered Swift’s most raw exploration of a relationship and the crippling regret that came with it. 


Fans usually do not know what to expect from Taylor Swift, but they should be on the lookout for more content. Tour rumors have been circulating, but still nothing is official for the U.S. For now, fans can purchase merchandise from her website and find exclusive editions of vinyl and CDs at Target which include a bonus song and two bonus remixes. Swift will appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Oct. 24 and The Graham Norton Show on Oct. 28. “Midnights” second music video releases on Oct. 25 — in which Swift seems to be taking on a Cinderella story with her song “Bejeweled.” Find a teaser trailer for the video on Swift’s Instagram

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