“Midnights” Making Monuments

Meghan Carr, Junior Editor

Picture the ambience of a sweet starry night sky with ‘Lavender Haze’ hues draped over a girl in her bedroom playing her guitar, singing her own melodies. Taylor Swift’s new album, “Midnights”, captures this intimate, mysterious essence of girlhood, love, and heartbreak all in one. Through this breakthrough album, Taylor empowers her ‘swifties’ to reach for the stars of their dreams that are ‘Bigger Than The Whole Sky’.  

Pop superstar Swift released “Midnights” at the opportune 12am of October 21 and 7 additional surprise songs at 3am. At 8am, she launched the album’s first music video to her song ‘Anti-Hero’. It is needless to say Swift’s fans were left on a continuous cliff hanger throughout the night due to her mastermind marketing skills. Junior Rachel Patel recounts, “I stayed up until midnight to listen to the album and loved every song!” 

“Midnights” marks Swift’s tenth studio album, left highly anticipated by the series of easter eggs she left leading up to its release. At Taylor’s May NYU graduation speech, where she herself earned a honorary fine arts doctorate, she instructed her fellow grads to, “Breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out”. Those same words were projected on billboards 5 months later, a week before “Midnights” came out. She officially announced the album, teasing that more details would be revealed at midnight, at the 2022 VMA’s. To complement, she wore a star-studded navy dress draped in a faux-fur jacket to the afterparty. 

Taylor Swift has unfolded an evolution of looks and lyrics tackling depression and body image head-on throughout her sensational and impactful 16 year career. Midnights marks the culmination of these deeply personal and public changes by juxtaposing how Swift perceives herself with how the world and society sees her. In this way, she refutes the constant story of society’s perpetual narratives of her character by writing and singing her longly-silenced truth. She sings that it’s a “Tale as old as time” as the hook in her song “Anti-Hero”. In the album’s alluring closer “Midnights”, Swift describes her villain character in the press. She further sings how she has constantly overworked to appease society’s criminal standards and perceptions of her, “To make them love me and make it seem effortless”.

Of course, to honor her roots and continue to guide and appeal to the millions of young teenagers idolizing her, Swift recounts her own intimate details of raw love and relationships. The album’s opening track, “Lavender Haze”, is undoubtedly about the love-light of her 6-year relationship with Joe Alwyn, which always seemed to be a new tabloid headline. Swifties speculate “Midnight Rain” concerns Taylor’s ex, Jake Gyllenhaal, and getting caught in his “flames”. 

Taylor also opens up about her past eating disorders as her fame and mental health took a toll on her body image. She talked about this in her iconic Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, and continued the discussion by singing, “I hosted parties and starved my body like I’d be saved by a perfect kiss.” 

Taylor’s unapologetic honesty found in the lyrics of “Midnights” has captured the world. She broke the record for the most-streamed songwriter and artist on Spotify in one day. Many Hingham High students listened to the album either at midnight or later in the day of October 21st. Junior Maeve Moynihan gushes, “My favorite song is Labyrinth because the rhythm and vibe are very calming.”

Taylor’s loyal ‘swiftie’ fans cover Pinterest pages in starry twilight, ascetic collages of the album and Taylor’s VMA after party look. (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/meet-me-at-midnight-taylorswift-ts10-midnights-midnight-taylorswiftmidnights-space-moo-in-2022–657525614361628442/)