Sleepless with Swift


Maren Bair, Entertainment Reporter

In her tenth studio album, Midnights, Taylor Swift returns to an authentic pop sound reminiscent of 1989 and Lover. Combining elements of shimmering melodies, as well as vibrant upbeat rhythms, the album is a deep look into the past and defines confidence for the future. 

The tracks bring insight into Swift’s journey and growth in the music industry, her relationships, and as a person. When she announced the release of the album on August 29th of this year, she explained that Midnights is a collection of songs inspired by “stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life”. The album brings the listener an inside look at her innermost thoughts and late-night reflections.

The opening track, “Lavender Haze” details the public pressure Swift deals with in her personal life (“I’ve been under scrutiny/All they keep asking me/Is if I’m gonna be your bride/The only kinda girl they see/Is a one night or a wife”). “Anti-Hero” reveals Swift’s insecurities and worries with the repeated chorus: “It’s me/Hi/I’m the problem, it’s me”. Swift paints herself as her biggest critic and her own worst enemy. She is stuck inside her head as she struggles to trust herself and others. 

In track five, the most emotional song on the album, “You’re On Your Own Kid”, Swift sings about the painful process of growing up, losing friends, and realizing who you have become. Emotional lyrics and angsty melodies such as, “I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this/I hosted parties and starved my body” are conducive to poignant reminders of past trauma, without being melodramatic. Swift sings about the loss of herself throughout her career in the music industry and the feeling of being alone and vulnerable throughout it. She sings about how she started by singing in a parking lot and ran away from her hometown to pursue her dreams, “just to learn that (her) dreams aren’t rare”. She mourns the loss of her innocence and the pain she had to endure to get to where she is today.

Songs like “Bejeweled” and “Mastermind” divulge an air of confidence (“Best believe I’m still bejeweled/When I walk in the room/I can still make the whole place shimmer”). These songs present a stark contrast to “You’re On Your Own Kid” and “Anti-Hero” with bubbly tempos and self-assured lyrics (“It was all by design/’Cause I’m a mastermind”). 

 Taylor Swift has experimented with her sound many times in the past. Midnights is a unique blend of Swift’s vocal talents, her genius songwriting, and her innate ability to connect with her fans through intimate, heartfelt songs.