Taylor Swift surprised fans on Thursday by announcing a music video was being released for her song Lavender Haze.
It is taken from her 10th studio album Midnights, which came out in October last year.
The song is the second official single from the album, but the third to be made into a music video.
Like many Swift videos, it contains several Easter Eggs – hidden messages for fans to decipher about what the singer’s next move could be.
The video has already been dissected by the singer’s fans (known as Swifties) who think they’ve cracked which album the pop artist could be releasing next.
The 33-year-old has committed to re-recording her first six albums, after the rights to her original masters were sold to an investment fund for a reported $300m (£242m).
The singer’s first record deal, with Nashville’s Big Machine Recordings, did not give her full control of her music, which meant the master recordings could be sold when her deal with them expired.
As a result, Swift re-recorded her second album Fearless in 2021 and fourth album Red in 2022.
Fans believe the next album to be re-recorded will be her third, Speak Now, which was first released in 2010.
‘All-encompassing love glow’
The meaning behind the title Lavender Haze was explained by the singer before the release of Midnights last year, where she explained it came from watching the Emmy award-winning TV show Mad Men.
“I looked up [the phrase] because I thought it sounded cool. And it turns out that it’s a common phrase used in the ’50s where they would describe being in love,” she said in an Instagram video.
“If you’re in the ‘lavender haze,’ then that meant you were in that all-encompassing love glow,” she said. “And I thought that was really beautiful.”
Swift went on to explain that she and many others living in the age of social media know what it’s like being in love while in the spotlight.
“Like my relationship for six years we’ve had to dodge weird rumours, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it. This song is about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff,” she added.
Swift describes the video as a “sultry sleepless 70s fever dream” and says story boarding the music video for Lavender Haze helped her “conceptualise the world and mood of Midnights”.
So of course, there are lots of lavender references in the video (which contains explicit language) – Swift is seen swimming in a purple pool, whilst her home appears in lilac hazy hues.
Purple might even be a clue pointing towards the re-recording of Speak Now, the original album cover for which saw Swift wearing a purple dress.
The colour was also one of the themes in Swift’s previous music video, Bejewelled, which saw the singer in an elevator pressing a purple-coloured button for the third floor – a possible reference to her third album.
It could be a tenuous link, but there’s another possible clue in the shape of a fish.
On her Speak Now world tour, Swift often performed with a guitar that had koi carp fish painted on it and in both the Bejewelled and Lavender Haze videos, koi fish pop up a few times too.
There are lots of other Easter Eggs in the music video that aren’t related to Speak Now but just Swift in general, meaning you have to watch it several times to get a sense of what’s going on.
Of course, there are lots of Midnights themed scenes in the video – an alarm clock strikes midnight (and no points for guessing what time the video itself came out).
At another point, the camera pans to a stack of vinyl album covers. The top one is titled Mastermind, which is the name of the 13th and final song on Midnights.
The vinyl cover has its own album art – which sees a Sagittarius star sign (Swift’s) aligning with a Pisces one (her partner Joe Alwyn’s sign).
The fish imagery seen elsewhere in the video could also be a possible reference to the Pisces sign.
The number 13 is referenced in almost all Swift videos in some way and is her lucky number because she was born on 13 December.
In a scene in the video, she is watching the weather forecast on TV and Nashville, where she lives, appears to be 13 degrees.
As Americans measure temperature in Fahrenheit rather than Celsius, that would be pretty cold.
If that’s not enough of an Easter Egg – the weather forecast also says ‘Midnight Rain’.
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This is not the first time Swift has been in the news this week, as away from her music videos, her upcoming Eras Tour has attracted lots of unwanted attention.
Ticketmaster and Live Nation were in charge of selling tickets for the tour in the US but left thousands of fans disappointed after system crashes meant they failed to buy tickets in November 2022.
The company apologised on Wednesday to both fans and Swift herself, saying “we need to do better”.
It comes after the US Senate committee on consumer rights launched an investigation into Ticketmaster.
Politicians and fans have argued the company – which sells 70% of tickets in the US – has too much control over the live music market.
Swift is yet to announce tour dates for the UK and Europe.