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Smooth Bananas: a prequel to ‘Midnights’ 

Brock Willard editor in chief 

Taylor Swift has been grinding the writing gears once again after her smash hits “Folklore” and “Evermore.” These two albums have been seen as a key turning point in Swift’s writing, going from a confessional mindset to a more narrative/storytelling approach. All the Swifties are breathing baitedly at what she will do next in her tenth studio album, “Midnights.” 

Swift has been revving up marketing for the album in the most cryptic ways. It’s clear this album isn’t releasing the same way “Folklore” and “Evermore” did: out of the blue with no warning. She wrote those in the middle of the pandemic when practically locked away inside her home. Now, the world has opened again and is back to business as usual. Swift’s primary mode of marketing has been none other than Twitter where she describes the new album as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights throughout her life.” Additionally, Swift took to the likes of her personal website as well as Spotify to leave clues as to the subject matter on the album. She changed her website’s background as well as song images on Spotify to the image of a clock counting up to midnight. 

Swift is ever the poet in the marketing as well. She introduced the album on her social media accounts with this description: “We lie awake in love and in fear, in turmoil and in tears. We stare at walls and drink until they speak back. We twist our self-made cages and pray that we aren’t – right this minute – about to make some fateful life-altering mistake. This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams. 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 twelve, we’ll meet ourselves.” 

Swift is producing the album with her regular rogues’ gallery of writers and producers, including Jack Antonoff, who helped her on both “Folklore” and “Evermore,” and her boyfriend Joe Alwyn, commonly credited under the pseudonym “William Bowery.” There isn’t much word on guest artists to be featured on the album, but one big name currently stands out: Lana Del Rey. 

Swift has stated that some of the themes and influences for this album include self-hatred and revenge fantasies, a common thread with her last two original albums. Additionally, she has written several of the songs to align with pop culture references such as “Lavender Haze,” a reference to the adage “in the lavender haze” from the TV show “Mad Men.”  

Fans are anxiously awaiting the release of this new album, connecting with the idea that one of Swift’s common lyrical threads concerns the word “midnight.” She’s able to twist its meaning to suit her needs and according to some early press, she quite successfully turns the motif in to an expansive and well-thought-out piece of popular song. 

When “Midnights” releases, be sure to give it a listen! 

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