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 fans for her music for years with mysterious messages. It is now a sport to unravel the puzzles devised by Swift. Also around her new album midnightswhich comes out Friday, are the easter eggs countless.By Danja Koeleman
“Nothing this woman does is a coincidence,” one person wrote about Taylor Swift on the Reddit forum. “In 2009 the show was stolen from her, now she is stealing the show back.”
Many people can still remember the images: thirteen years ago, Swift receives an award at the MTV Awards, but on stage rapper Ye interrupts her and shouts that the award should have gone to Beyoncé. In 2022, Swift wins the award again, announcing that she is coming up with new music.
Exactly thirteen years after the first incident. And thirteen is the lucky number 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 music world, Swift is the queen of the easter eggs (Easter eggs or hidden riddles). Since the beginning of her career, she has been putting secret messages in her music, clips and everything related to it. A cryptic message in the CD booklet, a visual hint in a video: Swift challenges her fans to find out exactly what she means by it.
“I want to encourage them to read my lyrics well,” Swift says in conversation with Jimmy Fallon. “Because I am more proud of nothing than my lyrics.”
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 a message emerge. They tell you something about the number. This is how the capital letters in the lyrics of fearless the message ‘I cried while recording this’. A subtle way to tell her fans that this song has great sentimental value.
Or in Should’ve Said No, a song about a love that cheats: in it the capital letters ‘Sam’ form. With which Swift tells between nose and lips that her ex Sam Armstrong (with whom she had a relationship in high school) was riding a crooked skate.
From her album reputation the singer stops posting secret messages in her printed lyrics. Swift is completely fed up with all the gossip that arises from this, she says later. The easter eggs she then stops in her video clips. This is how her fans in the clip of Me! discover the titles of her new single and her next album – if they pay attention, of course.
A striking and recent easter egg is to mention one William Bowery, author of some of the songs on the albums folklore and evermore. Fanatic fans immediately 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 seen together at The Bowery Hotel. The discovery is later confirmed by Swift himself. (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 long as 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, again surrounded by puzzle pieces. For example, the title will be revealed by Swift in 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 sift through every message, interview and song from the singer. Swift is playfully responding to this again, in the run-up to the release of midnights post a TikTok every weekday. In it, she reveals the titles of her new songs.
There is little mysterious about it. “I don’t deny that I like to share cryptic hints about new music,” says the singer. “But not everything is a easter egg.”
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