Taylor Swift is nothing if not thorough. When it comes to the tiniest of details, she has her fans in the palm of her hand. In the lead up to her hotly anticipated seventh album, fans were looking for clues everywhere, scrupulously searching every seemingly innocent Instagram post for an insight into when we would finally get more music.
The wait, however, is almost over, as Lover will be released on 23rd August 2019. So far, three songs have been released, and if these are anything to go by, this album will be quite the departure from her 2017 album Reputation. Gone are the snakes and the darkness – this album is all about the pastel colours. In an interview with Heart radio, she described this album as “very pure in a sense that it’s not in response to anything, like this album is not responding to any sort of adversity it’s really just, in my life, it’s like what would I write if I was just writing, purely”, in comparison to Reputation which “felt in a lot of ways like my only way to respond to certain things.”
To date, we have heard three songs from the album. The first, ME! (which features Brendan Urie from Panic! At The Disco), seemed to encapsulate everything she wants this era to be, full of fun and positivity – even if there are some slightly questionable lyrics about spelling. It embraces bubblegum pop, celebrating it in a way that mainstream charts just don’t seem to do these days, in a way that only Taylor Swift could; there is something so distinctive about her, regardless of how her music changes between eras. The second single, You Need to Calm Down, is another anthem with a positive message to her young fans, with lyrics such as ‘And I ain’t tryna mess with your self-expression/ But I’ve learned a lesson that stressing and obsessing about somebody else is no fun’ encouraging them to reject normalised online bullying. Most importantly, however, she dedicates this single to supporting LGBTQ+ groups. The video featured cameos from stars such as Laverne Cox, RuPaul, the hosts of Queer Eye and Ellen Degeneres, as well as a reunion with long-time enemy Katy Perry, further advocating the idea of burying the hatchet with people you hate and embracing their differences.
These two singles, whilst making important statements, were seen by some as slightly disappointing in comparison to the deeply personal themes of some of her older music – however, The Archer has allayed these fears. The third release from the album – which Swift has asserted is not a single, but is simply one of her favourite tracks from the album – is a slow burner. It is fair to say that it never really gets going, but when reading the lyrics alongside it, it is clear to see why Taylor Swift is regarded as such a talented writer. It truly is her at her best, conveying that the vulnerability that made us fall in love with her all those years ago is still very much there, despite all of her successes.
As for the rest of the album – well, at the moment, there isn’t much to say. The full track list hasn’t yet been revealed, but we do know that it will be her longest album to date with 18 songs. Recently, Swift held the first of her listening parties with fans in London, and some of those who attended have compared Lover to her immensely successful 2014 album 1989, whilst others have promised that if Reputation wasn’t your cup of tea, Lover definitely will be – so it seems that only time will tell!
Lover will be released on 23rd August, 2019.
Watch the lyric video for The Archer here: