Friday, September 29, 2023

Taylor Swift’s Midnights is coming out soon. Here are the conspiracy theories surrounding it.

Must read

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

This Friday Taylor Swift will release her 10th studio album, midnight. A number of fans looking forward to the release are confident that Swift will take the opportunity to make a big reveal. as always seems to be the case with Swifties. What’s more, they believe she sowed Easter eggs for that revelation that dates back years. Because is it really a Taylor Swift album release if we don’t read the superficial comments she said to Jimmy Fallon three years ago?

There are two main fan theories at play leading up to midnight. The first we are going to call the Karma Theory. The second is Gaylor’s theory. One of them is almost fixed, and the other almost broken.

Break your decoder rings. Find a comically oversized magnifying glass. We’re about to go scavenging.

Is There a Secret Lost Taylor Swift Album?

Swift recently announced that track 11 on midnight would be titled “Karma”. This title fits neatly into the Karma theory, which goes like this: There’s a secret unreleased Taylor Swift album titled Karma that would come out in 2016. This hypothetical album, fans believe, was scrapped after the infamous #KimExposedTaylorParty, when Kim Kardashian released snippets of tapes that appeared to catch Swift in a messy public lie, and the crowd quickly turned against her. (The full tape, released four years later in 2020, is said to exonerate Swift.) midnightbelieve fans, will be an unreleased track from the secret demolished Karma album, and probably a diss track aimed directly at Kanye West as his reputation continues to decline.

Here is the proof for the Karma theory. For the first part of her career, Swift released a new album exactly every two years. If she followed established patterns, her sixth album, the follow-up to 2014 1989should have been released in 2016. But after her feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West made her a public pariah, Swift skipped a year and spent Reputation instead in 2017. Fans want to know, was there another album that should come out in 2016 instead, reserved for? Reputation after Swift’s fall from grace?

Yes there was, many of those fans decided after Swift released the video for the first single from the Reputation era, “Look what you made me do.” There, Swift can be seen cutting the wings off an airplane labeled “TS6” — or perhaps Taylor Swift’s sixth album — and scribbling the word “reputation” over them: perhaps an allusion to the idea that her planned sixth album was scrapped and rebuilt into Reputation. “The world moves on, another day, another drama drama,” she sings. “But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma.”

Two years later, Swift again seemed to give a few hints about the mysterious and lost TS6. In the music video for “The man‘, the camera pans over a graffiti-painted wall tagged with the titles of Taylor Swift albums — and the word karma, which appears twice on the wall. Next to one of the karma tags is a sign that says “MISSING / IF FOUND RETURN TO TAYLOR SWIFT.”

Once fans had their say karma, they went scouring Swift’s old interviews and talk show appearances for more clues. Soon they hit paydirt. In a 2016 interview with Vogue, asked for her favorite life lesson, Swift answered enigmatically, “Karma is real.” It would have been just like Swift, fans concluded, had she started hiding promotional Easter eggs for what she thought would be her next album when she brought her 1989 era to an end.

So much for Swiftian. But if Karma was written before Taylor’s feud with Kanye went red hot, why do so many of her fans think it’s a Kanye diss song? Here we need to delve into Taylor Swift numerology. You will remember that “Karma” track 11 is on Midnight. We will! The first time Swift wrote a song about Kanye, in 2010 after he stormed the stage at her VMA’s acceptance speech, that song was also track 11. Chance?

The Karma theory has actually gotten some kind of confirmation from Swift herself. After Swift announced that a song titled “Karma” would be released on midnight, her management team tweeted triumphantly a gif from the “Man” video showing the karma labeled wall. No one on Swift’s team has confirmed it’s a secret Karma album exists or whether the new “Karma” song is about Kanye, but the tweet seemed to confirm that there was at least an intentional connection between the karmagraffiti in “The Man” and the “Karma” song on midnight.

Along with the gif, the tweet read: “If how far is too far in advance? Can we point to something three years in advance?” The quote is an allusion to Swift’s 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallonin which she tells how she started planting Easter eggs for her fans in her very first album.

“All I started thinking about was, ‘How can I hint at things, like how far is too far in advance? Can I hint at something three years in advance? Can I even plan things that far? I think I’m going to try it,” Swift said at the time. “I think it’s perfectly reasonable that people are normal music fans and have a normal relationship with music. But if you want to go down a rabbit hole with us, come with us, the water is great.”

We’re about to dive a little deeper down the rabbit hole when we turn to Gaylor’s theory.

Is Taylor Swift secretly gay?

The most comprehensive definition of a Gaylor would be, “Someone interested in bringing a queer reading to Swift’s songbook.” A person who is very confident that Swift is straight and that her long-standing association with Joe Alwyn is real, but also feels”Betty” is a deeply queer song, might identify as a Gaylor. The category also includes people who strongly believe that Swift is gay or bisexual and in the closet but has had secret relationships with women. That’s the crowd we’ll be dealing with next. In the run up to midnight‘ release, their theory is not so much whipped as it is smashed.

As with the Karma theory, we’ll start with the song title reveal. “Lavender Haze” is the title of the first song on midnightand since lavender is often used as a symbol of the gay community, Gaylors concluded that “Lavender Haze” would probably be quite a gay song.

Then Swift clarified. In a video posted on Instagramshe explained that she made the sentence in an episode of crazy men and liked it, and that she used it to describe the feeling that she was in the early stages of love or infatuation. Queerness has never been included in its definition.

Then Swift’s reasoning, for many Gaylors, went a bridge too far. When you’re in the lavender mist, she explained, you want to stay there despite the obstacles, including other people’s opinion of your relationship. “Like my six-year relationship, we’ve had to dodge weird rumors and gossip, and we just ignore it,” she continued.

So not only would Swift make “Lavender Haze” a song about straight people, but she would also start calling Gaylor theories”foreign”?

“We Gaylors, we are Ukraine”, said one Gaylor in a now-deleted TikTok in response. “Taylor, you just gave Russia nuclear bombs.” Some accused Swift of “queer-baiting.”

The ‘Lavender Haze’ debacle isn’t the first time Swift has sparked Gaylors’ hopes of beating them at the last minute. In the run-up to the announcement of her 2019 album LoverSwift started dressing in rainbows (the symbol of gay pride!) and stated that she had a big announcement on April 26 (Lesbian Visibility Day!). She announced the album in an interview with Robin Roberts (famous lesbian!). In the music video for the album’s second single, “You Need to Calm Down,” she donned a wig in the colors of the bisexual flag and sang about gay pride.

Then Lover fell, and it turned out to be full of wedding songs for straight people. A new batch of conspiracy theories emerged as to whether Swift and Alwyn were secretly engaged or perhaps even married. The whole thing was in many ways a classic Taylor Swift queer rumor cycle: It all seems almost plausible until it becomes emphatically heterosexual.

Gaylor’s response to “Lavender Haze” can feel hyperbolic or unnecessarily aggressive, especially since Swift has never made public statements about being queer and has had multiple extremely public relationships with men. But it is in its way a counterpoint to the kind of silly and harmless fan speculation behind the Karma theory.

Swift peppers her music with Easter eggs, then invites her fans to go hunting. That’s part of how she creates the powerful intimacy of best friends that she shares with her fans, this sense that she understands them and that they understand her on a magical, distant level. Part of Swift’s genius is that her songs portray emotions that feel at once universal and deeply specific, allowing her fans to feel deeply seen through her work. When they go in search of the Easter eggs she told them to be hidden, they feel like they’re seeing her again. She, and she alone, understand Swift’s hidden pain, her secret loves, because she is the only one who understands theirs.

But now that she’s sent out that invitation, anyone who’s heard it feels entitled to go hunting.

Down in the rabbit hole the water is amazing.


More articles

Latest article