Meet Me at Midnight: Taylor Swift’s Tenth Studio Album Release

Jasmine Judge, Business Manager

After almost two years since the release of her last two original albums “Folklore” and “Evermore,” singer-songwriter Taylor Swift dropped a bombshell mid-award acceptance speech at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, on Aug. 28.

In 2020 — while the world was in the midst of COVID-19 — Swift did essentially what no one else in the music industry could ever think to do. In just under three months, she wrote, recorded and produced an entirely new album entitled “Folklore” and released it to the public 17 hours after its official announcement. A few months later, Swift released the sister album “Evermore,” making it her second album of 2020.

Since her debut in 2006, Swift dabbled in all different genres, focusing mainly on country and pop music. Most expected her to stay within these confinements, but the indie-folk sound of both “Folklore” and “Evermore” was something Swift’s fans had never seen her do.

From the start of her career to now, each of Swift’s albums have been a smashing success. She was nominated for the “Album of the Year” Grammy award five times in a row since her first album, and won for “Fearless” and “1989.”

Though many believed Swift had reached her peak after not receiving nominations for “Reputation” and “Lover,” she came back stronger than a 90’s trend with her nomination for “Evermore” and win for “Folklore.” This solidified her third “Album of the Year” Grammy in just over 10 years.

On Aug. 28, while accepting her MTV VMA award for “Video of the Year” for her “All Too Well” short film, Swift announced that on Oct. 21, she would release her first album since “Folklore” and “Evermore.”

“I took a break after ‘Reputation’ came out and didn’t listen to her for a while, so it has been a very long time since I have sat up and waited for an album from her,” Miami Palmetto Senior High School junior Alexis Osman said. “I would say I am most excited to countdown the last few seconds before the album drops.”

For months, fans were expecting the release of another re-recorded album like “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version),” so the announcement of 13 all-new tracks was unlikely, but a pleasant surprise. Swift ended her speech by hinting at the soon-to-be-announced title, stating “I will tell you more at midnight.”

Adhering to her words, Swift arrived at the MTV VMAs wearing a dark blue jumpsuit with silver stars to match the album’s title, “Midnights.” Later that evening, she released the simple, indie cover art for the album — a picture of her holding a flickering lighter.

“I really hope this album feels like night time in New York City or like late after a party. I really don’t know how to put this but she has such a way of making music feel like situations and I can’t wait to scream this album while driving home from any sort of party,” Osman said.

On Sept. 21, Swift posted a video on popular social media platform Tiktok claiming she was beginning a series called “Midnights Mayhem with Me,” where she would periodically reveal the names of each song on her upcoming album. Swift placed ping pong balls with each individual track number written on it in a rolling cage, and very unsurprisingly, the first one she picked was 13 — her famous lucky number. After a short buildup, Swift revealed that the 13th track on “Midnights” will be called “Mastermind.” 

Over the course of her many songs and albums, Swift has made numerous cryptic references to midnight. Even with all these easter eggs, she always seems to do the unexpected despite fan speculation. But, as she said in the “Reputation” track “New Year’s Day,” the Swifties “want your midnights.”