First – From the first note, first listen, I was blown away by this album.
I was freaking RIGHT on my prediction of the deluxe/double album at 3 am – so that made me feel some type of way – but I was wrong about the single. However, I am actually really stinking happy we didn’t get a single or even a taste of what the album entailed.
Just like Folklore and the first moment we heard “The 1” – everything was new. Not giving us a single gave us no sense of where she was going – and when I tell you the moment “Lavender Haze” came through my speakers I couldn’t talk, my jaw hit the floor, and I just stared at my spouse in disbelief. It was incredible.
Second – This album, more than any other album, proves the importance of each album, each era of every artist. Whether the album is a success or not – artists grow, learn, adapt into new things for their next release: musically or visually. Without 1989, the drama that created a quiet Taylor to produce Reputation, the founding of a new pop era with Lover and honestly the pandemic that gave Taylor the freedom to step away from the checklists for tour and radio to create Folklore and Evermore in isolation – we wouldn’t have Midnights.
The exploration of Folklore and Evermore gave Taylor the courage she needed to not only experiment with a new sound, but also gave her comfortability in knowing that not producing a single for the album wouldn’t be the nail in her coffin to provide success for the album. She knows her fanbase, she knows we were all excited about it, she knows that we would support her – because what fan base makes a re-record album take up many top 100 hit songs on the charts? Honestly, only hers.
Third– As she stated in her anti-hero explanation – not just the song, but the entire album is an entirely new feel and vulnerability we’ve never seen by her. The music has amazing up-beat vibes while the lyrics are literally punching you in places you didn’t know you had pain … and making it worse [lol]. Every song connects to the listener in the most humbling yet painful way – whether we’ve faced those instances personally or not.
New Blogs / New Direction
For my next set of blogs [and by next.. I mean 21 blogs and individual posts] I will be going through each song individually and dissecting them line by line. I have discovered there are too many people that either have ‘this or that’ views which is very dangerous and short sided. These people also have big twitter or TikTok platforms that literally pollute the fandom. There are also too many people out there talking about WHO songs are about rather then WHAT songs are about.
I think it’s so important we keep in mind that songs, art, visual or musical, can be about experiences artists have never faced, OR are inspired by people we know or have close relations with. It really comes down to empathy and being about to make work outside of our own experiences. I think a good example of this in Taylor’s work is Seven. We don’t know her past per say, but as far as we know she didn’t grow up with an abusive dad. However that song has very potent lines about this father figure being pretty cruel and scary. It’s easy for artists to make these narratives to relate to their fans without placing it on themselves.
So as I go through each line, I may reference songs with similar notes, but I think what’s amazing about Taylor is she DOES recycle words, lyrics, lines, to keep things more anon. Like right now there is a bunch of speculation going on about calling a significant other “sunshine,” in Midnight Rain, because of an interview she did with Karlie Kloss in like, 2014, but she also calls others sunshine throughout some of her interviews and discography during debut and fearless. So although there are points of reference, she actually is never specific at all – allowing the listeners to get lost in their own translation of her personal life – and make it their own entirely about the life they live instead of someone else’s they speculate and create.
So unless she comes out and gives us a background story, I will be leaving these names out of it for the most part. There are some songs that even have dual perspectives with different lines and connections that I will point out as well – but again that is where my dissection will end. I think what’s most important are the metaphors and all the loaded imagery and connections she makes within her album.
Along with each post I will do an image [or photoshoot] that revolves around how I interpret the music. I’ll put aesthetic from her era – but I have always been big on making inspiration just that, and not copying per say. Beth Garrabrant is a phenomenal photographer who Taylor has really been loving lately – and photographs mostly on 120mm film. So I will be inspired by her but I’m not going to copy her. There are also so many songs that can be interpreted so differently than the albums release images too – so I will be combining many things to see if I can produce something new but representational.
SO excited for this era and to be making work in real time as it is fresh to me, and I’m excited for you to be apart of it.
If you haven’t read my long break down of eras up to this point, please do. I spent 8 months making it and I made it digestible for even non-stars to understand. Link here!
Meet you at Midnight – sometime in the short future 😉