On August 28, 2022, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift received the Video of the Year award at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards for her All Too Well (10 Minutes Version) short film released 10 months prior. Swifties, however, had more to celebrate than just her groundbreaking achievement, as the singer also surprised the audience (and the entire world) by announcing her 10th studio album to be released on Oct. 21.
The announcement was instantly met with much excitement and anticipation from around the world, with multiple hashtags trending on Twitter minutes after the award show, despite little being known about the album itself. Swift only revealed the title of the album— Midnights—, two hours later on her social media platforms.
“This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams. The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching – hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve … we’ll meet ourselves,” Swift wrote.
Since the album marks the singer’s first release of new material since 2020’s evermore, the enthusiasm of Swifties could be seen everywhere. At the same time as the announcement, Swift also posted the album pre-order link, which crashed almost immediately as fans rushed to order the album. Additionally, the singer also sold over 50,000 units in the US during the first hour of preorder alone.
The build-up of the excitement did not stop there, as Swift then released a series of TikTok videos beginning Sep. 21 until Oct. 7 where she revealed the titles of the 13 tracks followed by a short explanation of her inspirations.
Swifties were again surprised by two new announcements. The first was an exclusive vinyl containing three bonus tracks, which was available for pre-order on Target. The second is a collaboration with fellow singer, Lana del Rey, on the album’s fourth track titled Snow on the Beach.
Swift herself also expressed her admiration for the Born to Die singer. “The fact that I get to exist at the same time as her is an honor and a privilege and the fact that she would be so generous as to collaborate with us on this song is something I’m going to be grateful for for life.” Swift said.
On Oct. 21, at 12:00 am EDT, the long-awaited album was finally released on all streaming platforms, with impressive statistics. Not only did it hit the record of having the most album streams in a day on Spotify, but the tracks also occupied the top 13 spots on global Spotify and Anti-Hero– the album’s lead single– broke the record for the biggest debut on the global Spotify track with 17 million streams.
Furthermore, Swift managed to surprise her fans yet again by releasing Midnights (3am edition) just three hours after, which included an additional seven tracks, on digital platforms.
Swift wrote in her Instagram post, “Surprise! I think of Midnights as a complete concept album, with those 13 songs forming a full picture of the intensities of that mystifying, mad hour. However! There were other songs we wrote on our journey to find that magic 13. I’m calling them 3am tracks.”
Two music videos were created for the album; Anti-Hero and Bejeweled, which were released on Oct. 21 and 25 respectively. Most fans enjoyed the shimmering and dazzling music video for Bejeweled which featured the HAIM sisters, actress Laura Dern, Pat McGrath, producer Jack Antonoff and Dita Von Teese in a Cinderella-inspired storyline.
The reception for her music videos, however, was not all positive. Some, in fact, criticized the Anti-Hero music video as fatphobic, as it featured a scene of the singer stepping on the scale that read “fat”. While some saw it as an inspirational take on body dysmorphia, others considered it insensitive as it indicated “that being fat was a negative thing”. The music video was immediately edited by removing the scale scene following the criticism.
Miss Americana’s final surprise for her fans came in the form of a surprise world tour titled The Eras Tour on Nov. 1. The tour would begin in the US, consisting of 26 stops starting on Mar. 18 and ending on Aug. 5, while international stops would soon follow. Swift also announced the tour’s special guests that included Paramore, beabadoobee, Phoebe Bridgers, girl in red, MUNA, HAIM, GAYLE, Gracie Abrams and OWENN.
Due to high demand from fans, the singer then announced an extra 8 stops to the tour on Nov. 4, revealing additional shows for Florida, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, and two more shows for California.
General sales for the tour will begin on Nov. 18. However, those with Verified Fan presale access will be able to order tickets earlier beginning Tuesday, Nov. 15, on Ticketmaster.