Meet “Midnights,” Taylor Swift’s new album


Lulu Vitulo

Graphic created by Lulu Vitulo on Canva, styled after colors used on “Midnights” album cover and “Bejeweled” music video.

Lulu Vitulo, Managing Editor

On Oct. 21, at midnight eastern time, Taylor Swift released her new album “Midnights,” a most likely planned coincidence. The album has 13 songs and a run time of 44 minutes, and was a huge success: according to Billboard, “Midnights” had over 284 million audio and video streams.
According to the Spotify Newsroom site, “Taylor Swift’s Midnights became Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day, and Taylor broke the record for the most-streamed artist in a single day in Spotify history,”
Album units are the measurement the music industry uses that equal the purchase of one album copy, “Midnights” has had more than any other album in the first week since Swift’s “Reputation” album in 2017.
“It’s a good week to be a Swiftie…In just the first three days of its release, “Midnights” has already become the top-selling album of 2022,” the Los Angeles Times said.
Swift first announced she would be releasing a new album on August 29, at the MTV VIdeo Music Awards, and later that night announced the name of the album. Taylor Swift continued to release more information on the album through Instagram, and a Tik Tok series titled “Midnight’s Mayhem with Me.”
In her series “Midnights Mayhem With Me,” Swift used a lottery system (13 ping pong balls numbered 1-13) to randomly select a track number that she would release the name for, on each video. She announced the tracks in this order: “Mastermind,” “Vigilante Sh–,” “Question…?,” “Midnight Rain,” “Maroon,” “Anti-Hero,” “Bejeweled,” “Lavender Haze,” “You’re on Your Own Kid.”

…when you’re in the ‘Lavender Haze,’ you’ll do anything to stay there and not let people bring you down.”

— Taylor Swift

On Oct. 3, Swift posted an instagram reel explaining the third track on the album, “Anti-Hero.” Swift claimed it is one of her favorite songs that she’s written, as it dives into her insecurities.
“This song is a real guided tour throughout all the, you know, things I tend to hate about myself…I like Anti-Hero a lot, because I think it’s really honest,” Swift said in her Instagram reel. “Anti-Hero” now has over 53 million listens on spotify, and its music video on Youtube has 3.3 million views.
On Oct. 7, Swift explained the first track, “Lavender Haze,” and her inspiration for it. She explained she first heard the term on AMC’s Mad Men, and researched the meaning.
“It’s a common phrase used in the ’50s where they would just describe being in love. Like, if you were in the lavender haze, then that meant that you were in that all-encompassing love glow – and I thought that was really beautiful,” Swift said.

Swift goes on to say she relates this to her own life, as she and her partner Joe Alwyn have been subjected to many rumors from her fans and critics.
“And I guess, theoretically, when you’re in the ‘Lavender Haze,’ you’ll do anything to stay there and not let people bring you down off of that cloud. And I think a lot of people have to deal with this now – not just, like, quote-unquote public figures – because we live in the era of social media and if the world finds out that you’re in love with somebody, they’re gonna weigh in on it,” Swift said.
Swift also repeats the line “Get off your chest, get it off my desk,” in the song, possibly meaning that people and the press can speculate, but it’s nothing she will entertain or look at. The press can get whatever rumors or suspicions or criticism they have “off [their] chest,” but she won’t look at any of it to preserve her relationship.
Another lyric is “all they keep asking me/is if I’m gonna be your bride” which addresses the rumors that Swift and Alwyn are possibly secretly married already.
“Lavender Haze” has a soft beat, with hazy (fitting with the title) vocals. It’s closer to traditional pop, like her “Lover” album, but as an indie lover, the softness of her voice in the chorus keeps a late-night, low-fi feel. The song seems to resemble the night-time feel of “False God” from “Lover,” as it has moments of stilted, short, emphasized phrases, mixed with breathy long notes.
It’s a perfect first track, with the very first words being “Meet me at midnight”– echoing her words from when she announced the new album.
On Oct. 11, Swift put out another Instagram reel, this time about Track 4, “Snow On the Beach,” featuring Lana Del Ray.
“Snow on the beach, the song, is about falling in love with someone at the same time as they’re falling in love with you” Swift said.
In this teaser, Swift says she is a massive fan of Lana Del Ray, and very excited to be working with her. However, Lana Del Ray has a very small part on the song, mainly being backing vocals. I’m not a huge Lana del Ray fan, so I’m not too upset, but I can see how fans would be disappointed by such a small feature. However, I do think their voices being blended instead of just having a separate verse for Lana Del ray makes sense. The song is about two people falling in love at the same time, with two voices singing at the same time, mostly in unison. Also, their voices sound so nice together, and Lana Del Ray’s higher, delicate voice adds a magical touch to the song.
After those three Instagram reels, on Oct. 21, “Midnights” was released. Shortly after, “Midnights (3am Edition)” was released, with seven extra songs, titled “The Great War”, “Bigger Than the Whole Sky”, “Paris,” “High Infidelity,” “Glitch,” “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” and “Dear Reader.” Two music videos have also been released, for “Anti-Hero” and “Bejeweled”.
My favorite songs from this album are “ Lavender Haze,” “Snow on the beach,” “Karma” and “Bejeweled.” All the songs are great, and only got better the more I listened. Swift gives meaning and weight to all of her lyrics, and the album, as a whole, incorporated stylistic details from many of her past albums, with vocals matching “ Evermore” or “Folklore”, but beats and rhythms more suited to “Lover” or “ Reputation”. That being said, all of the songs feel original and are very different from each other. There’s no doubt that any Taylor Swift fan will quickly fall in love with this album.
As for any new, or once long-ago listeners, “Midnights” has a wide variety of types of songs that could appeal to a large number of people. This album is from a more mature Swift, and encapsulates heartbreak, self-loathing, but also the joys of love for others and oneself. It’s honest, fun, melancholy, and lovely. I’d recommend it to anyone.