Folklore, coupled with the nostalgia which Taylor Swift’s album re-releases inspired in me, were enough to transform me—a previously indifferent fan—into a full-fledged Swiftie. In the past two years, I’ve devoured Swift’s entire discography, appreciating the distinct essences of each of her albums for exactly what they are: masterpieces, each in their own right.
Naturally, I anxiously awaited the release of Midnights. The day it came out, I listened to it in the car on my way to visit a friend in Kingston. What was my first thought upon hearing “Lavender Haze”? Our generation’s Blondie must have put drugs in this. Indeed, Midnights has an addictive quality to it. I find myself playing it again and again, from start to finish. Midnights is the sort of album that grows on you, the more you listen to it on your own, on full blast.
Yet, the first time I heard it I was not alone. My friend and I were delighted by the first few songs, then fell into conversation and nearly forgot all about it until we hit “Mastermind.” My initial response was one of disappointment. That’s it?! I thought, waiting to feel more of that enchantment which “Maroon” and “Anti-Hero” made me feel. All weekend long, I heard bits and pieces of Midnights playing in Kingston’s student houses: a refreshing break away from the rap and trap music which usually plague parties. The more I heard, the more eager I grew to explore more of Midnights, to listen to the bonus songs, which I had sorrowfully neglected.
A few days later, I can now safely say that Midnights has firmly established itself as the soundtrack of my life. I listen to nothing else, whether I’m on the TTC, studying, or working out. Here are my top three songs—a list which is sure to grow and change as I surely will, in the approaching months:
- “You’re On Your Own, Kid”
Taylor tells the story of a girl enamoured with her hometown crush who waits for a sign from him to stay. While he’s off “smoking with his boys,” she cultivates her own dreams that exclude him—which she ultimately picks over the far-off promise of his recognition. I like to think of this song as the backstory of “dorothea”: a song from evermore that laments the loss of Dorothea to fame and fortune, inviting her to return home to the promise of one man’s devotion. It’s no secret that Swift is a fan of easter eggs and interconnected plot lines. She’s a storyteller, at the end of the day, and that’s what I love about her!
This one gives off major dreamy, ethereal vibes. Swift describes a romantic encounter that involves spilt wine, dancing barefoot, and a gorgeous maroon sky. Its intense bass and sharp tempo switches simply make my heart ache! Did this song make me go buy a maroon sweatshirt, travel mug, and get my nails done in a glittery purple? Yes, yes it did. And I would do it again.
Now, I feel like this might be a hot take, but I believe “Anti-Hero” might be Swift’s best song yet. I KNOW. There are some kooky lyrics, but it’s camp, people!!! Its alternative feel is so different from anything we’ve heard from Swift, and is far edgier than anything on Reputation. “Anti-Hero” captures the aura of Midnights: a bold, glittery, lovestruck cauchemar (yes, I just used my Ontario public-school French to say the word “nightmare”). Now, if you’ll excuse me, I will be spending the next little while wearing sparkles, drinking “cheap-ass screw-top rosé,” and glorifying being up past 12:00am.