The VMAs were a busy affair last weekend – Johnny Depp’s face even very weirdly turned up briefly in a spacesuit – but the aftermath was dominated by discussion of one person: Taylor Swift.

While accepting the award for Video of the Year for ‘All Too Well’, she announced her brand-new album, Midnights, set for release on October 21st. It will be her 10th studio album in total, and first new music since the 2020 pairing of folklore and evermore.

“I wouldn’t be able to re-record my albums if it weren’t for you,” she said in her speech. “You emboldened me to do that. And I had made up my mind that if you were going to be this generous and give us this (award), I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand new album comes out Oct. 21. And I will tell you more at midnight.”

Swift duly delivered more updates, revealing that the album contains 13 tracks, and is a “collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.”

And it’s safe to say that social media has not stopped talking about the new album ever since. In just three days, literally hundreds of theories about Midnights have popped up, ranging from the fairly believable to the downright absurd.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the best (and worst theories) about Taylor Swift’s upcoming album. The internet truly is a wild place.

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Thanks, TikTok

Ah, TikTok, you never fail to deliver on the conspiratorial front. TikTok user @amystateofgrace posted a video theorising that the slightly different colours on the clock numbers on the singer’s website are purposeful, meaning that Midnights is going to be a “vaulted album”; in other words, all of the album’s tracks will be taken from Swift’s vast “vault” of unreleased material.

So according to @amystateofgrace, each track on Midnights will come from a the recording sessions for a different Swift album. It’s convoluted but the best TikTok theories always are.

https://www.tiktok.com/@amystateofgrace/video/7137154280137575686?is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=7137154280137575686&refer=embed&referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gawker.com%2F&referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gawker.com%2Fcelebrity%2Ftaylor-swift-midnights-theories-explained&referer_video_id=7137154280137575686

Sister Act

A lot of other Swifties think that Midnights may be the originally intended follow-up to Lover, the singer’s seventh studio album that was released in 2019. According to them, Midnights will act as the very belated B-side to Lover, which incidentally featured tracks named ‘Daylight’, which directly opposes her new album title. The theory goes that Lover was all about love and light, while Midnights will be about darkness and loneliness.

Return of the Clock 

That clock on Swift’s website has come under a serious amount of scrutiny. Another theory on social media posits that the track titles could be named after the wee hours of the morning.

“WHAT IF the tracks are hours/time???!! track one: 1am and so on & track 13 is falling asleep (*meeting herself*)!??!!? [sic],” one frenzied tweet said.

Swift Exit

One theory that has left many fans in a state of panic is that Midnights could be Swift’s final album for a while. “Is anyone else petrified that this might be her last album (other than the re-releases) the title midnight is like the ending of a day, it has 13 tracks about nights ‘scattered throughout my life,'” one TikToker questioned. Considering Swift is at the peak of her powers, both critically and commercially, this is probably unlikely.

@oh….wow

IM SO SCARED

♬ original sound – Summer (Taylor’s Version)

Kim and Kanye

And last but definitely not least is this doozy: 13 is known to be Swift’s favourite number; 13 years ago was when the singer was infamously interrupted onstage by Kanye West; 13 years later, she announced a 13-track album; Midnights is set to be released on October 21st, which just so happens to be Kim Kardashian’s birthday.

The theory, then, suggests that Swift, for some reason, is really not over the Ye incident from over a decade ago, and has plotted numerical revenge. Wonderful.

https://twitter.com/ivyslippedaway/status/1564110599692652545?s=21

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