Tales of sleepless nights: Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album reflects her deepest truths
In between re-recording previous albums, the singer released ‘Midnights’
Depicting thirteen sleepless nights of her past in the music industry, Taylor Swift released “Midnights,” on Oct. 21. This album came unexpectedly amidst the artist working to re-record her prior albums. Working together with close friend and producer Jack Antonoff, as well as producer Aaron Dessner for “Midnights (3am Edition),” Swift created a compilation of her deepest truths set to dreamy beats and striking synth.
The tracks of “Midnights” center around five core experiences Swift spoke about dealing with on midnights throughout her life: self-loathing, dreaming about revenge, wondering what might have been, falling in love and falling apart. Each song reflects a corresponding feeling she’s dealt with over her 16 years in the public eye.
Swift describes even the darkest of feelings in such a way that makes it feel relatable, and shows that even though she is a famous figure, she experiences the same anxieties and insecurities as her listeners.
"I really don't think I've delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before,” said Swift in an Instagram reel about her track “Anti-Hero.” It’s refreshing for longtime fans to hear about the pain of her life and to see how she has grown from it. The advice of the lyrics on “Midnights” equates to that of an older sister sharing her wisdom.
Even with a somewhat negative reputation preceding her related to dating habits, Swift remains true to her romantic core with plenty of songs dealing with all the different sides of love. The song “Sweet Nothing,” co-written by Swift and her boyfriend Joe Alwyn under the pseudonym William Bowery, is a tribute to the core of their love for each other. Continuing to include romantic stories in her music shows how strong she is for continuing writing about her experience despite any rumors and backlash she’s gotten.
“Midnights” also highlights the bad sides of relationships. Swift alludes to lyrics of past albums in which she compares the feeling of being in love to the colors red and golden. The song “Maroon” takes a similar position with lyrics evolving from a sweet beginning stage to the loss of love and how the color maroon encompasses both the good and bad times.
Tracks like “Karma” and “Vigilante Shit” deal with themes of revenge. While the latter falls into the category of acting out plans of revenge, the take Swift decides to portray in “Karma,” however, is one of maturity and accepting the idea of being the bigger person: “Karma's a relaxing thought / Aren't you envious that for you it's not?”
Swift also teased a surprise announcement for later the same night of the “Midnights” release. At 3 a.m., this turned out to be seven additional tracks to be placed on “Midnights (3am Edition).”
“Midnights” is a multifaceted body of work with its inspiration from each era of Taylor Swift’s career. The record ties together the pop of her previous albums like “Lover,” with an indie-folk sound reminiscent of “folklore” and “evermore.” Still, the best part of this album is the truthfulness Swift brings to it. It truly is a representation of letting go of the past and moving forward into a new phase of life.