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When the Clock Strikes Midnight

By Julia Esposito and Rachel Priest

While most high school students' sleep schedule is based on homework, sports and studying, many Swifties take on the additional responsibility of keeping track of Taylor Swift’s sporadic social media posts. From dissecting hidden messages in TikToks to searching her merchandise website for possible tour dates, Swifties know “All Too Well” about staying up past “Midnight.”

On August 29, Swift started the “Mayhem” by announcing a new album, despite being in the midst of rerecording her old ones. Her marketing tactics keep many fans engaged and intrigued. Playing into the title of the album, she posted a series of TikToks titled “Midnight Mayhem with Me.” Using a bingo cage filled with track numbers, she began to reveal the titles of the songs.

A week before the release, she spontaneously posted a calendar on social media alerting Swifties of the upcoming music videos and TV show appearances for fans to keep their eye out for.

Fans did not have much of an idea of what the album would sound like, considering she has made music in a multitude of genres. However, once they heard the electronic beats on the first track, it was clear she was back in her pop era. Songs including, “Karma,” “Lavender Haze” and “Bejeweled '' have upbeat instrumentals as some of the co-writers have worked with hip-hop and rap artists. While most of the album has a similar style to “1989” and “Lover,” there are a few slower tracks like “Labyrinth” and “Sweet Nothing.” While these songs do not match the tempo of the others, Swift still encapsulates the pop theme of the album.

Swift captures the hearts of her fans by singing songs that are not only emotionally layered but relatable. Her lead single “Anti-Hero” tackles the feelings of self-deprivation and isolation. She sings, “It’s me, hi. I’m the problem. It’s me,” reminiscing on all the times she has been her greatest enemy. She depicts this message further in the music video following the release of the song, which shows a clone of Swift telling herself “everyone will betray you” and making hurtful comments about her weight. This displays the internal battle she, and many others, face in their minds.

Taylor Swift's fandom's dedication is made apparent with the records smashed with the debut of "Midnights." Since its release, she has had the largest sales week for any traditional album, surpassing the honor held by her previous album, "Reputation." As the week goes on, the number of listeners is just increasing.

“This album is really a work of art. As a lifelong Swiftie, I really think this may be my favorite album," math teacher Ms. Westwater said. "Taylor took the best parts of all her past albums and combined them into this masterpiece. So far, “Karma,” “Should’ve, Would’ve, Could’ve” and “Midnight Rain” are my favorites…but if you ask me again tomorrow, it’ll probably change. I can confidently say though this is a no skip album and definitely a must listen."

Swift had mentioned there would be a chaotic surprise at three in the morning the day the album was released. For those who stayed up, they were the first to listen to the seven additional tracks she called “Midnights (3 am Edition).” Swift described on social media that these tracks were part of the creative process to find the first 13 songs on the initial album, but she still wanted to share them with her fans.

“I’m not a Taylor Swift fan but listening to some of the songs in the album had me having a euphoric moment. I love the whole vibe of the music videos, and the song she did with Lana Del Ray had me dancing in the dark. My favorite songs so far are ‘Midnight Rain’ and ‘Snow on the Beach.’ I totally recommend listening to her new album,” senior Anagha Sunny said.

Artwork by Ann Aphraim

Fans stay up until midnight awaiting Taylor Swift's highly anticipated releases.

“I think the album is something that no one was really expecting. It’s a mix of her different eras and important times in her life," sophomore Hailey Brooker said. "I also think she made the album very relatable by picking apart her insecurities, just like everyone else does with their own. ‘Midnight’ also shows how far she’s come and the influence she still holds on pop culture.”


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