Until now completely circumspect about any of the content or even tone of her forthcoming album, “Midnights,” Taylor Swift revealed the theme of one of the collection’s new tunes, “Anti-Hero,” describing it as “a real guided tour throughout all the things that I tend to hate about myself.”
Swift also said that she “struggle(s) a lot with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized… I struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person.”
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The pop superstar made the statements about “one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written” in a video posted on Instagram. It was part of her “Midnights Mayhem With Me” one-by-one rollout of the 13 song titles from the album. Although it’s the sixth song title she’s revealed in this manner, it represents the first time she’s followed the title reveal with any discussion about the track.
“Track 3, ‘Anti-Hero,’ is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written,” she said in the video. “I really don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before. You know, I struggle a lot with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized, and that I, you know… not to sound too dark, but, like, I struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person. But,” she quickly added, making a mock-crying gesture, “don’t feel bad for me. You don’t need to.
“But this song is a real guided tour throughout all the things that I tend to hate about myself. We all hate things about ourselves, and it’s all of those aspects of the things we dislike and like about ourselves that we have to come to terms with if we’re going to be this person. So, yeah, I like ‘Anti-Hero’ a lot because I think it’s really honest.”
The other song titles Swift has revealed so far are “Maroon” (track 2), “Midnight Rain” (track 6), “Question…?” (track 7), “Vigilante Shit” (track 8) and “Mastermind” (closing track 13). Beyond the basic 13 songs, a Target deluxe edition will include a 14th original song, along with two remixes.
Swift has not released any singles from the album so far, or even a sound snippet. The album, her tenth, arrives Oct. 21. Previously, Swift has either released albums with a long setup time and one or several singles or teaser tracks put out in advance, or gone with a sneak attack and a surprise release. Thus far “Midnight” looks to be establishing a third model altogether — announce the project well in advance but don’t issue any teasers. With two and a half weeks left to go, it remains to be seen whether Swift will finally advance some music or keep every song in check as a surprise.
Little else has been revealed about “Midnights,” either, apart from the cover art, and a making-of video that suggests Jack Antonoff may be the sole co-producer. The photography, partial song title list and promise of Antonoff’s thorough participation would seem to indicate a move back toward pop arrangements and away from the folky leanings of the nearly two-year-old “Evermore,” which had Aaron Dessner as its primary co-writer-producer, but not necessarily a move away from the reflective attitude of that album and “Folklore.” But for now it all remains — as one of the new titles says — a “Question…?”
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