everything we know about taylor swift's dark new album
Look out, Katy and Kanye: Taylor Swift is reclaiming her "Reputation."
Gary Miller via Getty Images.
This article was originally published by i-D US.
A lot has happened since Taylor Swift released 1989 nearly three years ago. Arguably a lot has happened since last week, when the country-turned-pop star blacked out her social media and started posting a bunch of cryptic snake videos, eclipsing a literal eclipse and causing Swifties to correctly speculate that a new album was finally coming. Today Taylor announced via Instagram that she'll indeed be dropping a new single tomorrow night, followed by her sixth studio album, titled Reputation, on 10 November. It's the longest hiatus Taylor has taken in her musical career.
Based on what we know so far, 1989 is a relic of the past. The new album art features a heavy gothic font, a black-and-white portrait of Taylor in a ripped sweater and chain choker, and "Taylor Swift" repeated in various newsprint fonts. People on Twitter are already comparing the cover art to that of Kanye West's 2016 album The Life of Pablo. As you might remember, that album — specifically, the track Famous — was the kerosene that reignited one of the biggest beefs in pop music history: Taylor and Kanye's clash at the 2009 MTV VMAs.
The album art comparison is hardly random. Given the title of Reputation, Taylor will very likely be addressing her fall from grace that snowballed after Kim Kardashian's internet-breaking leak of the taped Taylor/Kanye phone call, in which Taylor appeared to sanction the rapper's Famous lyrics. As you might remember from that dramatic summer's day, Kim's instruction to watch her Snapchat was followed by series of snake emojis. Her fans used them to spam Taylor's Instagram comments, and the internet was changed forever. Hence Taylor's efforts to reclaim the metaphor-laden reptile.
The timing of Swift's announcement is fascinating for another reason. This Sunday is the 2017 MTV VMAs (and the 8th anniversary of the Swift/Kanye drama). This year's show will be hosted by Swift's arch nemesis Katy Perry, and fans are flipping over the possibility of the two pop stars ending their long-running feud. "Listen, I'd love for the beef to end," Katy told SiriusXM Hits 1′s Morning Mash Up this week. "I'd love to take if off the BBQ. I'm down, but I haven't heard anything of it." Word on the street is that snakes are quite fond of beef, and it just so happens that Taylor's single drops the same day as Katy's celebrity cameo-packed new video.