Counting Down to TS7: 4 Clues That Taylor Swift is Releasing Her Next Album & 4 Predictions Based on Her Social Media Teasers

 

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Taylor Swift is counting down to 4/26. // Screen shot captured via taylorswift.com

 

If you’ve read my blog or follow me on social media at all, then you’ve probably figured out that I’m a pretty big Taylor Swift fan.

And if you know me in real life and have texted me recently (Hi Brenna!), then you know I was freaking out when I saw the notification from Miss T-Swizzle about new music coming on 4/26. And that I’ve been freaking out about everything she’s teased since.

Palm trees, butterflies, and pretty pastel colors, oh my! Plus, what is she hinting at?

Here are four clues that Taylor is getting ready to release her next album and four of my predictions about TS7:

 

First, Taylor is definitely releasing an album this year.

Despite many rumors, Taylor isn’t getting ready to announce her engagement to her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. I also doubt she’s going to launch another app like The Swift Life. (Especially when she wound up shutting it down). A new fragrance? Maybe, but it’s a stretch. (The last time she released a fragrance was in 2013 ). Logically then, the only obvious thing left is new music, and according to Perez Hilton, Taylor told him that her next album would be out before she turns 30 in December backstage before she played the Rose Bowl on her reputation Stadium Tour. Taylor also mentioned how excited she was for “the next chapter” of her career at the American Music Awards this past October, which prompted the initial talk of TS7. (Watch the video below).

 

Second, Universal Music Group and Republic Records are promoting Taylor’s 4/26 countdown.

Taylor’s contract with her former label, Big Machine Records expired in November. Upon becoming a free agent, she chose to sign with Universal Music Group and Republic Records, where she’ll own all her master recordings going forward. Now this seems obvious, but why would her new label promote her social media teasers if she wasn’t releasing new music? They wouldn’t. That means the first single from TS7 is, in fact, coming in less than two weeks!

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My new home 🎶

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

 

Third, Taylor said she’d let her fans know when she’s going to release new music.

And she did. Three times, actually. First, in her 2019 calendar where April 13th is stamped; second, at the iHeart Radio Awards during her acceptance speech for Tour of the Year (watch the video below); and finally, in her “30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30” piece published in ELLE under item #26, which reads, “I make countdowns for things I’m excited about.Pretty clever, huh?

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Screen shot captured via ELLE.com

 

 

Fourth, Taylor’s updated her social media avatars and bios.

When Taylor teased her sixth studio album, reputation, she blacked out all of her social media channels, eventually posting the now iconic snake video series associated with the LP’s explosive first single, “Look What You Made Me Do.” (In doing so, she even overshadowed the solar eclipse). This time around, she’s changed her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr avatars to a plain pastel background and has edited her profile bios to simply read “4.26.” One era ends, and another begins. (Insert tears here).

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Screen shot captured via Twitter

 

Okay, great. So, what about the actual teasers she’s been posting?

This is where things get tricky and a host of fan theories drive all kinds of ideas about the album and its sound. However, thanks to what photos Taylor’s shared thus far, there are at least some definite confirmations about TS7’s overall feel.

1) The TS7 era is all about pastels.

A stark contrast to reputation, TS7 is all about soft pinks, blues, and yellows. The bright feel of the era is closely connected to the idea that Taylor’s “doing better than [she] ever was” (as expressed on reputation track #14, “Call It What You Want“), so I’m pretty confident we, as fans, can expect more love songs.

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Screen shot captured via Instagram

 

2) Genre-wise, TS7 might fall in between country and pop, or it might be something entirely unique.

Looking at the photo of the seven palm trees Taylor posted on Instagram back in February, the first four trees are situated on the left (Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, and RED, Taylor’s country albums), while the next two trees are situated on the right (1989 and reputation, Taylor’s pop albums). This is followed by a single tree positioned directly in the middle (TS7). Of course, we won’t know for sure until the album drops.

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🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

 

3) Thematically, TS7 could be centered around victory or growth.

Along with the image of the palm trees–which is a symbol of victory–the recurring image for the TS7 era has been butterflies. (Taylor even wore butterfly shoes to the iHeart Radio Awards a month ago–see the photo below ). With that in mind, the theme of TS7 could be growth or change. After all, butterflies do symbolize metamorphosis. Similarly, butterflies can also represent the idea of resurrection, which Taylor has previously iterated on reputation lyrics like, “Honey, I rose up from the dead/I do it all the time” on “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Is this the end of all the endings?/My broken bones are mending” on “King of My Heart.” I’ll admit, this is the part I’m most excited for. Knowing what a talented lyricist Taylor is, I can’t wait to hear how she’ll put her most recent experiences and feelings into song on TS7.

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🦋 💗 📸 @presleyannphoto

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

 

4) The photo teasers Taylor’s been posting could create a larger image.

Thus far, Taylor’s shared photos of a pink heart pendant; a yellow coat; a pink dress; her cats, Meredith and Olivia (no disrespect to the ladies, but I’m not sure how they fit); and what looks like a blue dress. Assuming she’s going to continue posting a teaser–or two–every day until 4/26, then perhaps she’ll keep alternating the color pattern–remember: pink, blue, and yellow pastels–and have the pink images match up with each other, the yellow image match up with another yellow image, and the blue image match up with another blue image until all the photos create one larger photo. On the flip side, maybe each image is its own entity and the series will collectively make up the album art for TS7. Or maybe they’re all stills from a music video photoshoot. Either way, I’m sure Tay Tay will answer that for us in a little less than nine days. ; )

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4.26

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

View this post on Instagram

4.26

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

View this post on Instagram

4.26

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

 

So, until then, I–and many other Swifties–will keep theorizing. I’ll also keep obsessively refreshing Taylor’s Instagram feed for more clues.

If you’re a Taylor Swift fan, what are your TS7 theories? What are you most excited for?

Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14.

 

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Review: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix

Taylor Swift released her reputation Stadium Tour movie on Netflix exactly a month ago.

Having seen the tour live when it stopped in my hometown this past summer, I was excited to watch the concert again and re-live all of my favorite moments in stunning HD from the privacy and comfort of my bedroom.

I was also eager to see what kinds of behind-the-scenes content Taylor had to share with her fans. Would there be cameos from surprise guests? Bloopers? Brand-new footage?

I recently watched the reputation Stadium Tour movie since its New Year’s Eve premiere, and let me just say that Taylor did not disappoint. Here’s my breakdown of all the fun:

 

Stunning Visual Quality

I think what I enjoyed most about the movie was the quality of the footage. (I’ll never shut up about how stunning HD footage is. Seriously). There was a good balance between close-up shots of Taylor and her band and dancers as well as pan-overs of fans in the crowd. Every detail is magnified–from the costuming to the choreography to the confetti raining down throughout the stadium.

And here’s why this matters: when I saw the tour live with my friend over the summer, we were seated in Section 216. Our seats weren’t terribly high up, but we also weren’t as close as the fans sitting in the 100 level. We had a great time dancing and singing along, but if we looked away from the video screens and down at the base of the stage, Taylor was a tiny speck that was barely visible to us. (I’m not kidding. I have a video on my phone where my pinky finger is bigger). 

Director Paul Dugdale puts the viewer directly on the stage in a way that almost feels 3D. (A great example of this is when Taylor sings “Blank Space” on the B-Stage and reaches directly into the camera). He also has his cinematographers use other shots that keep the viewer a little bit further back from the action, though still close enough to be aware of everything going on, which is both a cool and clever technique. Note: Pay extra close attention to this during the “Long Live”/”New Year’s Day” mash-up when the viewer’s placement within the stadium moves from hovering over Taylor’s shoulder as she sits at the piano to standing in the crowd multiple times–it’s awesome.

A Killer Setlist

What’s a concert without a setlist? Answer: nothingAnd the setlist for rep Tour Netflix is killerTaylor pulls out all the hits from her catalogue, both old and new–from “Love Story” to “Look What You Made Me Do” to “You Belong With Me” to “Delicate.”

There are even mash-ups of some of her most beloved tracks like “Bad Blood” and “Should’ve Said No” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” (My personal favorite is the aforementioned “Long Live” and “New Year’s Day”).  Her tour mates, Charli XCX and Camila Cabello join her for “Shake It Off.” She slows things down mid-way through the concert with acoustic versions of “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” (which sounds amazing acoustically, by the way) and “All Too Well” (one of the most popular songs she’s written to date).

She also keeps the crowd entertained while she runs backstage to change costumes with a video intro to “Look What You Made Me Do,” a reading of her poem, “Why She Disappeared” before “Getaway Car” (the poem is featured in one of the reputation album magazines from Target) and an extended drum solo during “King of My Heart.” Most of all, she jokes around with her band and dancers while performing and works the stage with the confidence of a seasoned entertainer–which she is–the entire time.

 

Touching Speeches and Tributes

As someone who’s attended Taylor’s concerts for years now, one thing I always look forward to is her speeches and tributes between songs. While watching rep Tour Netflix, viewers will note quite a few of them.

She pauses to reflect about how damaging gossip and bad reputations affect things like finding real love and friendship before singing “Delicate” and thanks her fans for all the love they’ve shown her song “All Too Well” throughout the years, despite it never being a single. (Side note: It’s seven years later, and I’m still upset that song was never a single. It should’ve been. It’s one of her best songs and one of my favorites). 

But the most touching tribute happens right before the “Long Live”/”New Year’s Day” mash-up when she thanks everyone involved with the tour–the crew, technicians, and security, etc.–for sacrificing their time with their loved ones to travel the world and help her put on a great concert every night. This is followed by the camera cutting over to a member of security who flashes a thumbs up from the crowd and Taylor leading her fans in a round of applause for everyone’s hard work. It’s a very sweet and poignant moment that stands out–not only because this is the point in the film where viewers will realize there are just a few songs left, but also because it was shot on the last night of the U.S. leg of the tour. (A word of advice: If you’re like me and this makes you emotional, have some tissues nearby). It’s a moment I won’t ever forget.

Behind-the-Scenes Bloopers

Something I’m always eager to see at the end of any film is bloopers. At the conclusion of rep Tour Netflix, Taylor treats her fans to some behind-the-scenes goofs where things just didn’t go as planned during rehearsals.

Laugh along as Taylor forgets her choreography, gets lost on her massive stage, and demonstrates just how quickly she needs to carry out her quick changes. (Fun fact: During the bloopers, one of Taylor’s techs shares that the decking for her stage alone is “bigger than a 767 airplane.” Again, massive). It’s the perfect ending.

Overall, rep Tour Netflix is more than just a “concert film,” it’s a magical musical production that will captivate and entertain viewers for the entirety of its two-hour, five-minute run. It’ll make you sing and dance along, cry, and laugh. Best of all, it’ll make you keep pushing “play” again and again.

Are you a Taylor Swift fan that’s seen rep Tour Netflix? What were your favorite moments? Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14. 

Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you

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We were all the way in Section 216. The concert had started but no one was standing, so we stayed seated.

Then she introduced the next song.

“Philly, you look so beautiful tonight. Actually, you’re a level above beautiful. And what’s a level above beautiful?”

“GORGEOUS!” The entire stadium roared.

I turned to my friend to say we should stand since we both loved this song. The words came out of her mouth before I even said anything.

We stood up and danced and sang along with the rest of our section gradually joining us.

A month later, and this is still one of my favorite memories from the entire summer.

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I wasn’t going to go to her concert. 

Even as I sit here typing this, that sounds ridiculous. Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love Taylor Swift and I can talk about her for hours on end. But I said this right after the bombing at Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester and the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.

I didn’t feel safe going to concerts anymore. What if something happened? Or what if Taylor got hurt? I wasn’t sure I could handle either of those scenarios. So I decided not to go.

Yeah, I would be sad to miss it, but I’d eventually get over it, right?

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I went back and forth about it for three months, trying to hide my disappointment every time I saw a post online where someone shared how excited they were to have gotten tickets.

And I realized something: if I didn’t go to the concert, then I’d never have another chance to hear this new album live. I’d already made that mistake with her Speak Now tour. Did I really want to do it again?

So I texted my friend and asked her if she already had tickets. And in the off chance that she didn’t would she want to go together.

She didn’t and she was down to go together, which was all I needed to hear.

I ended up buying two tickets on February 13, exactly five months to the day.

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The time came for the acoustic part of the concert.

She stood on the B-stage in the middle of the floor, softly strumming her guitar as she prepared to reveal the surprise song. She started talking to the entire stadium about coming back home to Pennsylvania and visiting her childhood bedroom, and I just knew.

Never Grow Up.

A few beats later, and I heard that all too familiar melody. I started singing along as the color on everyone’s light-up bracelets changed to a deep blue. And then I looked out into the vast expanse of the crowd.

And I started thinking about all the people who have grown up with her music, including myself and my friend. And how from ages 13 to 25, she’s always been my soundtrack for every moment: good, bad, and important. And I felt a lump growing in my throat.

By the time she got to the lyric, “I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone,” I was swiping under my glasses to catch the tears that were falling.

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“I can’t believe I wasn’t going to go to the concert,” I said to my mom as we entered our house for the night. She’d come to pick me up after it was over and I’d been filling her in on everything.

The light-up bracelets. The inflatable snakes. Love Story, You Belong With Me, and all my old favorite songs of Taylor’s that she’d released when I was in high school. How I’d cried during Never Grow Up. The whole thing was spectacular.

“Aren’t you glad you didn’t miss it?” She replied.

“YES!” I said with the biggest smile on my face. “IT WAS THE BEST CONCERT EVER!”

Now she smiled.

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Sometimes after a long week, I flip through my phone and look at pictures and videos from that night.

I get nostalgic like that after concerts. I miss them and wish I could go back. Just live in that beautiful, sparkly sea of people and be so in the moment that it feels as though nothing bad can ever happen to me.

It kind of reminds me of Cinderella in a way. You put on an awesome outfit, get away and dance for a few hours, but then midnight comes and it’s back to reality.

Well until the next concert.

And as much as I can’t wait for my next Taylor Swift concert, I’m still totally wonderstruck over this one. (Points awarded to you if you can name which of her songs I just referenced. Hint: It’s also from Speak Now). Reputation was so special not only because I almost didn’t go, but also because it’s my favorite album ever.

It’s the first of Taylor’s albums I got to review, the album I always have on repeat, and the album I fall that much more in love with after every listen.

Hold on to spinning around. Confetti falls to the ground. May these memories break our fall. // Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you.

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