Feature Editor, Maria Zapata
When the clock struck midnight Taylors Swift’s new album, ‘ Midnights,’ was released into the world on Oct. 21.
Swift described ‘Midnights’ as “the story of thirteen sleepless nights scattered throughout my life,” and “a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.”
In a sense, this was Taylor Swift’s significant return to pop. After her last two brand new albums, folklore and evermore, Swift drifted away from pop a little bit and escaped to a much more calm style of music. Apart from two other of her re-recordings being released this was the return of her pop pipeline.
According to the album’s credits, most of the songs were written and recorded with her longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff. Jack Antonoff has produced “1989,” “Reputation,” “Folklore,” “Evermore,” “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” and “Red (Taylor’s Version).”
Prior to releasing the album, Taylor Swift partnered with Spotify to share “Five things that kept her up at night for midnights.” These five ideas consisted of self-loathing, fantasizing about revenge, wondering what might have been, falling in love, and falling apart.
Self-loathing is a really strong topic and has always been for Taylor Swift. ‘Anti-Hero’ is a song about insecurities and anxieties in life both publicly and privately.
“This song really is a real guided tour through all the things I tend to hate about myself. We all hate things about ourselves,” Taylor Swift said.
I really like how it’s a very upbeat song, but the lyrics mean so much. If you don’t look into the lyrics you would think that it’s a very happy song. But when Swift uses lyrics like “And I’m a monster on the hill, too big to hang out, slowly lurching toward your favorite city, pierced through the heart but never killed” and “It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero,” you can really see her struggles with her mind.
The doubt of thinking that you are always the problem is very relatable. Swift often talks about how her insecurities make her feel bad for her partner. She talks about how she feels like a liability and doesn’t understand why her partner is with her.
Midnights also brought songs about revenge. The first song where she touches on the subject of revenge is “Vigilante Sh*t” Taylor Swift goes back and touches more on the subject of the Braun-Borchetta drama head-on while also returning to the scorekeeping, revenge-seeking Swift we thought we might have seen the last of.
“Sometimes I wonder which one will be your last lie,” Which is a line that really shows Swift’s anger and feeling of being misunderstood.
Later in the song, Taylor Swift talks about having cold hard proof about something. “She needed cold hard proof so I gave her some. She had the envelope, where you think she got it from? Now she gets the house, gets the kids, gets the pride, picture me thick as thieves with your ex-wife.” It is speculated that Taylor Swift got proof that Scooter Braun was cheating on his wife, and she was the one that gave his wife the proof.
This goes back to another song off her album Folklore. In “Mad Woman” she wrote the line, “The master of spin, has a couple side flings, good wives always know, she should be mad, should be scathing like me, but no one likes a mad woman.”
Mockingly she adds the line “Ladies always rise above,” in the bridge, but at the same time, her attitude is very clear here. She’s not rising above the drama, but she is declaring herself as the winner here.
In ‘Karma’, Swift takes a completely different angle on revenge. It takes very much in the opposite direction to “Vigilante Sh*t,” in “Karma,” Taylor Swift takes a passive approach to deal with people who have done her wrong.
In the chorus of the song, Taylor Swift worships karma. She talks about the sweet feeling of seeing your enemies getting what they deserve without moving a finger. How in the end, you know that karma has your back.
“Karma is written from a perspective of feeling, like, really happy, really proud of the way your life is, feeling like this must be a reward for doing stuff right,” Taylor Swift explained.
“It’s a song that I really love because I think we all need some of those moments. You know, we can’t just be beating ourselves up all the time,” Taylor added. “You have to have these moments where you’re like, ‘You know what, karma is my boyfriend and that’s it.’”
When talking about the wondering of what could have been the track that stands out to me the most is ‘Question..?’
Question is really a song for people who are always just persisting and resisting the temptation to ask if one thing would have been different, would everything be different today?
The song paints a picture of Swift’s past. She’s the “good girl” to the “sad boy” in a “big city” making “wrong choices.” She describes a romance, declaring that she doesn’t “remember who I was before you,” and that the feeling it’s a “color I have searched for since.”
But then the song goes to the things that lead to the break-up. “Caught in politics and gender-roles, and you’re not sure and I don’t know, got swept away in the gray,” Then ends the verse with “I just may like to have a conversation.”
She goes on and asks her ex-partner if he wishes that he ” put up more of a fight,” or when she called it quits and said it was too much if he wishes that he “could still touch …her?”
I find that song so clever because we often do find ourselves in situations like these in the middle of the night.
Falling in love is always my favorite topic when it comes to Taylor Swift’s songs. The album starts with ‘Lavender Haze.’
Taylor swift explained how being in the lavender haze is like being consumed by love.
“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. I think a lot of people have to deal with this now because we live in the era of social media and if the world finds out you’re in love with somebody, they’re gonna weigh in on it,” Taylor Swift said.
‘Lavender haze’ really stood out to me because I found it so intriguing how the song made you feel like you’re actually in a haze with all the sounds and the way she used her voice in this song. I found it so captivating.
My favorite song on the album has to be “Sweet Nothing.” Taylor Swift wrote this song with her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. In this song she gives a small peek into what her relationship is like.
She starts the song by setting a scene of a trip to Wicklow that she and her lover took when he was filming for his series “Conversations with Friends.”She goes on to say she found a pebble that they picked up when they went on the trip and wonders if it ever misses its’ home sometimes. I find that cute.
“Everyone’s up to something, I found myself a-running home to your sweet nothings, outside they push and shoving, you’re in the kitchen hummin’, all that you ever wanted from me was, sweet nothing.” In this line, she explains how he feels at home.
She then tells a story about how the little things that he does for her make her fall in love all over again. “On the way home, I wrote a poem, you say, “What a mind,” this happens all the time.”
Swift then goes on to talk about her insecurities about the outside world and how she trusts him enough to tell him that sometimes she just can’t take it, ”And the voices that implore “You should be doing more,” to you I can admit that I’m just too soft for all of it.”
She talks about how with everything around the world she finds comfort in her person and it’s honestly beautiful.
All in all, I really enjoyed the album. It was a very unique album and I think it is one of my favorites.
Feature Editor, Maria Zapata