The average artist throws out a press release when announcing a new record,but Taylor Swift does it a little differently. She has been warming her fansfor her music for years with mysterious messages. It is now a sport to unravelthe puzzles devised by Swift. Also around her new album midnights whichcomes out Friday, are the easter eggs countless.
By Danja Koeleman
“Nothing this woman does is a coincidence,” one person wrote about TaylorSwift on the Reddit forum. “In 2009 the show was stolen from her, now she isstealing the show back.”
Many people can still remember the images: thirteen years ago, Swift receivesan award at the MTV Awards, but on stage rapper Ye interrupts her and shoutsthat the award should have gone to Beyoncé. In 2022, Swift wins the awardagain, announcing that she is coming up with new music.
Exactly thirteen years after the first incident. And thirteen is the luckynumber of the artist. No coincidence, according to her fans (also called’Swifties’).
It is not without reason that the fans have suspicions of intent: in the musicworld, Swift is the queen of the easter eggs (Easter eggs or hiddenriddles). Since the beginning of her career, she has been putting secretmessages in her music, clips and everything related to it. A cryptic messagein the CD booklet, a visual hint in a video: Swift challenges her fans to findout exactly what she means by it.
“I want to encourage them to read my lyrics well,” Swift says in conversationwith Jimmy Fallon. “Because I am more proud of nothing than my lyrics.”
There are hundreds of videos on YouTube in which fans analyze Swift’s videoclips.
Photo: Taylor Swift
Hint about cheating ex
In the CD booklet of fearless (2008) the lyrics are printed in lowercase.But whoever puts the single capital letters one after the other will see amessage emerge. They tell you something about the number. This is how thecapital letters in the lyrics of fearless the message ‘I cried whilerecording this’. A subtle way to tell her fans that this song has greatsentimental value.
Or in Should ‘ve Said No, a song about a love that cheats: in it the capitalletters ‘Sam’ form. With which Swift tells between nose and lips that her exSam Armstrong (with whom she had a relationship in high school) was riding acrooked skate.
From her album reputation the singer stops posting secret messages in herprinted lyrics. Swift is completely fed up with all the gossip that arisesfrom this, she says later. The easter eggs she then stops in her videoclips. This is how her fans in the clip of Me! discover the titles of hernew single and her next album – if they pay attention, of course.
A striking and recent easter egg is to mention one William Bowery, author ofsome of the songs on the albums folklore and evermore. Fanatic fansimmediately start a Google search, but can’t find a songwriter with this name.
They soon share the suspicion that it is Swift’s friend Joe Alwyn. His great-grandfather’s name is William and the singer and actor were first seentogether at The Bowery Hotel. The discovery is later confirmed by Swifthimself. (text continues below the video)
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Taylor hints further on TikTok
With each album, the Swifties’ quest seems to get even more intense. “As longas they like it, I’ll keep doing it,” the singer says in 2019 to_Entertainment Weekly_.
And so is the release of midnights , which appears on Friday, againsurrounded by puzzle pieces. For example, the title will be revealed by Swiftin May between nose and lips. And the atmosphere of the album would resemble_Foliage_ from 2019. According to the singer, that CD almost had _daylight_called.
All these hints are discussed in detail on TikTok. Under the hashtag #SwiftTok(which has already been viewed more than 10 billion times), her fans siftthrough every message, interview and song from the singer. Swift is playfullyresponding to this again, in the run-up to the release of midnights post aTikTok every weekday. In it, she reveals the titles of her new songs.