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Lavender Haze

Single| Midnights (2022)

“Lavender Haze” is the opening track on Taylor’s tenth studio album, Midnights (2022). Written by Taylor, Jack Antonoff, Zoë Kravitz, Mark A. Spears, Jahaan Sweet and Sam Dew, she sings about having to protect her relationship with Joe Alwyn from unsolicited scrutiny. All she wants is to stay in the serenity and bliss of the lavender haze.

Background and Release

On August 28, 2022, Taylor announced her tenth studio album, Midnights, set for release on October 21, 2022. One month later, she began unveiling the track-list in a randomized order through a video series on TikTok, called Midnights Mayhem With Me. It consisted of 13 episodes, with one song revealed in per episode. In the ninth edition on October 7, 2022, Taylor announced the title of the ninth track as “Lavender Haze.”

Lyrical Theme

According to Taylor, she wrote the lyrics after being inspired by a Mad Men scene where being in the “lavender haze” describes being in the honeymoon phase of the relationship. The song also tackles numerous tabloid rumors and online gossip about Taylor’s relationship status and “1950s expectations.” On Instagram, she said:

«I happened upon the phrase ‘lavender haze’ when I was watching Mad Men. And I looked it up, because I thought it sounded cool, and it turns out that it’s a common phrase used in the 50s where they would just describe being in love. Like, if you were in a lavender haze, that meant that you were in that all-encompassing love glow, and I thought that was really beautiful. And I guess theoretically when you’re in the lavender haze, you’ll do anything to stay there, and not let people bring you down off of that cloud. And I think a lot of people have to deal with this now, not just quote-unquote ‘public figures,’ because we live in the era of social media and if the world finds out that you’re in love with somebody, they’re going to weigh in on it. Like my relationship, for six years we’ve had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it. So this song is about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff. I hope you guys like it.»

Taylor Swift
Being able to block out the noise of the outside world is crucial to Talyor. Being a celebrity of her caliber affects every part of her life, as well as those of her family members as her partner. To have someone who understands the difficulties of this lifestyle and is still happy to be in a relationship with her is something Taylor has looked for all her life.

But of course, the public wants to weigh in on her private life, no matter how hard Taylor tries to protect it. In the second verse, she mentions how everyone expects her to marry after viewing her as a literal girl for most of her career. In her mind, most people think she can only be either a one-night stand or a wife. There is no room in between. She mentions how that mindset may have been acceptable in the 1950s, when women were still restricted in what they could and couldn’t do with their lives. But she wants “none of this shit.” She’s going to do whatever she wants because she is “damend if she does and damned if she doesn’t.”

Production

Before Jack Antonoff began to work on Taylor’s tenth album, he was cooking up tracks with Mark Anthony Spears (Sounwave), Sam Dew, and Zoë Kravitz for the latters debut solo album. During a brainstorming session, the quartet put together a track that would eventually become “Lavender Haze.” He told Rolling Stone in October 2022:

«It was not specifically meant for anything. That one was me going through sounds for 15 minutes and eventually hitting one button by accident. Jack’s eyes lit up and was like ‘What was that?’ It just happened to be this small little loop that my guy Jahaan [Sweet] sent me a while back.»

Mark Anthony Spears
Mark A. Spears twisted up the loop and they added a bunch of effects to make it sound the way it does now. “Sam went in with the melodies. Zoë is actually a creative genius. She’s not just a phenomenal actor. Her ability to create different sonics and find different melodies is next level.”

A few months later, Antonoff reached out to Spears, Dew, and Kravitz to see if he could pitch the song to Taylor, who loved it immediately and wrote the lyrics. “When Jack brought us in to hear it for the first time, all our mouths dropped. She took it to a whole new world and made it her own. She created different pockets we did not hear.”

Commercial Performance

In the United States, songs from Midnights occupied the entire Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100; a historic feat. “Lavender Haze” debuted at No. 2 on the chart. With seven songs reaching the number-two spot, she broke her tie with Madonna as the artist with the most number two hits on the chart. Taylor also became the first artist to simultaneously occupy the Top 10 spots of the Hot 100; the female artist with the most Top 10 songs (40); and the first act to occupy the entire Top 10 of the Hot 100, Streaming Songs, and Digital Songs charts simultaneously. Midnights also became the first album in history to contain ten Top 10 songs.

Lyrics

[Intro]
Meet me at midnight…

[Verse 1]
Staring at the ceiling with you
Oh, you don’t ever say too much
And you don’t really read into
My melancholia

[Pre-Chorus 1]
I been under scrutiny (Yeah, oh yeah)
You handled it beautifully (Yeah, oh yeah)
All this shit is new to me (Yeah, oh yeah)

[Chorus]
I feel the lavender haze creeping up on me
Surreal
I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say
No deal
The 1950s shit they want for me
I just wanna stay in that lavender haze

[Verse 2]
All they keep asking me (All they keep asking me)
Is if I’m gonna be your bride
The only kinda girl they see (Only kinda girl they see)
Is a one night or a wife

[Pre-Chorus 2]
I find it dizzying (Yeah, oh yeah)
They’re bringing up my history (Yeah, oh yeah)
But you weren’t even listening (Yeah, oh yeah)

[Chorus]
I feel the lavender haze creeping up on me
Surreal
I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say
No deal
The 1950s shit they want for me
I just wanna stay in that lavender haze

[Post-Chorus]
That lavender haze

[Bridge]
Talk your talk and go viral
I just need this love spiral
Get it off your chest
Get it off my desk (Get it off my desk)
Talk your talk and go viral
I just need this love spiral
Get it off your chest
Get it off my desk

[Chorus]
I feel (I feel) the lavender haze creeping up on me
Surreal
I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say
No deal (No deal)
The 1950s shit they want for me
I just wanna stay in that lavender haze

[Outro]
Get it off your chest
Get it off my desk
The lavender haze
I just wanna stay
I just wanna stay in that lavender haze

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
AlbumMidnights
ReleasedOctober 21, 2022
Recorded2021-2022
StudiosRough Customer (Brooklyn)
Electric Lady (New York)
Henson Recording (Los Angeles)
GenreElectro Pop
Length3:22
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
Zoë Kravitz
Mark Anthony Spears
Jahaan Akil Sweet
Sam Dew
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
Sounwave
Jahaan Akil Sweet
MIDNIGHTS CHRONOLOGY
Lavender HazeMaroon
Single Certification
Single Artwork
Announcement
Taylor Talks About the Song
Lyric Video
Official Audio