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Happy Midnights Release Day!
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Midnights

October 21, 2022

Midnights is Taylor’s upcoming tenth studio album, set to be released on October 21, 2022, through Republic Records. Stemming from her thoughts during “sleepless nights”, Midnights has been described by her as a concept album encapsulating “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams”.
Table of Contents

Background and Release

After a dispute over the sale of the masters of her first six studio albums, Taylor announced plans to re-record these albums. She released the first two re-recordings, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and RED (Taylor’s Version), in 2021. The latter spawned the release of a short film, written and directed by Taylor, for the 10-minute version of her 2012 song “All Too Well“. Mainstream media expected her to release the third re-recording next.

But then, Taylor dropped off the radar in 2022, while working on an album in secret. She finally made her grand return at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2022, where she garnered five nominations for the “All Too Well” short film and winning three of them. In her acceptance speech for the “Video of the Year” award, she announced a “brand-new” studio album scheduled for release on October 21, 2022: “You guys, I’m just so proud of what we made, and I know that every second of this moment that we wouldn’t have been able to make this short film if it weren’t for you, the fans. Because I wouldn’t be able to re-record my album [RED (Taylor’s Version)] if it weren’t for you. You emboldened me to do that. And I had sort of made up my mind that if you were going to be this generous and give us this, I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand new album comes out October 21st. And I will tell you more at midnight.”

Shortly after the reveal, Taylor’s official website was updated with a countdown clock and a phrase that read “Meet me at midnight.” Her social media was also updated with the phrase. Some of Taylor’s releases on Spotify also received changes to their canvases, with a visual featuring the same clock counting to midnight. That midnight, Taylor unveiled the name of her tenth studio album, Midnights, along with a written premise, and posted a cover artwork on her website and across her social media accounts. She described the album as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life:”

«This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams,” she wrote. “The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching – hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes 12 … we’ll meet ourselves. Meet me at midnight.»

Taylor Swift
The album was also made available to pre-save and pre-order on her website. On September 1, three limited-edition color variants of the vinyl LP were made available as well, featuring different cover artworks.

Promotion

On September 21, 2022, Taylor posted on TikTok introducing a series of short videos called Midnights Mayhem With Me, in which the track-list is gradually revealed in a randomized order. Whatever number comes out, she then reveals the trackname, which she does by picking up a red rotary phone and speaking into it, her voice coming out in a vintage filter. These reveals are interesting for a few reasons. Taylor is an expert in viral marketing, and these teases are far more low-key than someone of her reach could extend to, but also far more intimate. It has felt like 2014’s 1989 was a changing point for Taylor, the final album from Taylor Swift, The Superstar. reputation (2017), Lover (2019), folklore (2020), and evermore (2020) were all by Taylor Swift, The Person. Meanwhile, the Taylor’s Version albums had anagrams for the new vault tracks and the featured artists. Taylor has shut the world out and invited her fans in, and these reveals play into that.
Taylor Swift for Midnights (2022)
Taylor Swift for Midnights (2022)

Production

Taylor posted a TikTok video on September 16, 2022, depicting the recording process of Midnights; it featured clips of her and longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff in his recording studio Rough Customer in Brooklyn, New York. Variety confirmed that Antonoff is a producer of the album.

According to iTunes, where the album was made available to pre-order on September 20, Midnights is categorized as a pop release.

Artwork

Beth Garrabrant is the photographer of the Midnights photshoot. It is her fifth collaboration with Taylor, having also been the one to shoot her artwork for folklore (2020), evermore (2020), Fearless (Taylor’s Version) [2021] and RED (Taylor’s Version) [2021]. The photoshoot is set in a room with a heavy Seventies motel vibe: wood paneling, green carpet, and old curtains. The room also features the ultimate 1970s keyboard, a vintage Wurlitzer, famed for epics by the likes of Ray Charles, Queen and Daft Punk.

The standard artwork of Midnights is a minimalist cover. It takes inspiration from old-fashioned LP jackets where songs are listed on the front cover, but currently has them listed with the placeholder names of “Track One,” “Track Two” and so on, up to 13.

“Midnights” has four different vinyl and CD editions, entitled “Moonstone Blue” (which is the standard edition, also available in the color “Lavender Marbled” as a deluxe edition), “Jade Green,” Blood Moon,” and “Mahogany.” Combined, the back covers of the four edditions form a clock. The photograph of Taylor featured in the standard edition artwork depicts her in a blue eye shadow, a black eye liner, and her signature red lips, observing a glimmering lighter held near her face. The white space bordering the photograph has a blue gradient. The vinyl edition splits the track-list into an A-side and B-side, indicating a two-sided LP.

Impact

Billboard called Taylor’s unexpected announcement of the album at the “Video Music Awards” as a “headline-grabbing” moment. Bruce Gillmer, producer of the awards show, spoke to the magazine about their viewership gains and how Midnights gave a “massive lift” to the ratings. Taylor‘s official website also crashed due to heavy traffic following her first social media posts about the album.
General Information
ReleasedOctober 21, 2022
Recorded2021-2022
StudiosRough Customer (Brooklyn)
GenrePop
Lengthtbd
LabelRepublic Records
Producers
Jack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
TAYLOR SWIFT CHRONOLOGY
RED (Taylor’s Version) [2021]Midnights (2022)
Prologue
Album Announcement
Tracklist
STANDARD EDITION
DELUXE EDITION
Album Artwork
Midnights Era

Midnights Era

Midnights Songs

Taylor's Discography