The Student Newspaper of Oxford Academy

The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

Meet Her at Midnight

Sarah Li

On Aug. 28, Taylor Swift accepted a Moon Person for winning video of the year at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards for her companion short film to “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”  from “Red (Taylor’s Version).” In her acceptance speech, she teased the release of her 10th studio album “Midnights” on Oct. 21, her first new release in two years. 

Debuting 16 years ago, Swift remains one of the best-selling musicians to date, her genre-versatility and songwriting genius propelling her to perennial popularity. Besides being the first to win three Grammys for Album of the Year in three different genres, 10 of Swift’s albums have held the number one spot on Billboard’s 200 — if “Midnights” follows suit, Swift would tie Barbra Streisand for the most No. 1 albums by a female artist. Given her impressive track record, there’s no doubt “Midnights” will strike a resounding chord in longtime fans and casual listeners alike. 

According to Swift’s Twitter, the album comes from a vulnerable place, telling the story of 13 transformative nights scattered throughout her life. Encapsulating the spirit of Swift’s success, “Midnights”’ premise speaks to her remarkable ability to turn intimate moments into universal anthems, tapping into the raw experience of lying awake at night haunted by your inner demons.

The highly-anticipated release follows sister albums “Folklore” and “Evermore” in 2020. By then, Swift’s discographical evolution was evident — from catchy, upbeat pop to a soft, mature sound. Themes of love, heartbreak, forgiveness, and family remain, but she explores a storytelling approach, embracing numerous perspectives — the albums feature anthology stories written from different characters’ points of view, such as the love triangle in “Cardigan,” “August,” and “Betty,” from “Folklore.”

With “Midnights,” a more introspective angle seems imminent, yet another step forward in Swift’s personal evolution. 

“The floors we pace and the demons we face,” Swift wrote. “[…H]oping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve… we’ll meet ourselves.” 

On the cover, a flame flickers before Swift’s contemplative gaze — a shift from the distant, less personal framing of her last covers. 

Swift’s storytelling and lyrical prowess also inspired her long-standing practice of leaving hints about her upcoming projects. 

“I wanted to [incentivize] fans to read the lyrics because my lyrics are what I’m most proud of,” Swift said on the “Tonight Show,” explaining how the tradition started with her first album. 

And Swifties are all too eager to pull on every loose thread to speculate about what’s next.

One theory alludes to Swift’s “Reputation” era, following a year-long media silence in 2017. Prior, Taylor had been teasing “Karma,” an album that would kick-start Swift’s rock era but was scrapped in favor of “Reputation. Fans hoping for “Karma’s” release are holding out for a soft-rock feel from “Midnights.”

Fans also speculated that “Midnights” is the sister album to “Lover,” which, she revealed in a 2019 interview with Ryan Seacrest, was originally titled “Daylight.” “Lover’s” final song, “Daylight,” hints that she no longer wants to fear the night. 

Swift has come a long way since her humble country origins, and her music will continue to reach audiences transcendent of genres. “Midnights” will undoubtedly find popularity in its relatable premise and soul-baring narratives, but who knows what Swift has in store. There’s only one way to find out — see you at midnight.

About the Contributors
Christine Nguyen, Managing Editor
Christine Nguyen is many things: an Oxford Academy senior, the co-president of Creative Writing Club, an enthusiast of naming things after cars, and most importantly, the Gamut’s copy editor and co-A&E editor. Because freshman Christine decided to join the Gamut, today she is able to offer a detail-oriented mindset to push the quality of the newspaper. Not only does Christine hope to boost the standard of work being published, but also her closeness with Gamut staff. With an approachable, “big sister” demeanor, Christine looks forward to getting to know her peers better by checking in with them personally as she looks over their work. Outside of the Gamut, Christine is a connoisseur of the arts. She loves to compose poetry, craft creative prose, sketch, and create visual art. Outside of being human, Christine akins herself to a snail, admiring its resilient nature and cool-looking shell. This year, while Christine may not fulfill her dream of getting a dog named 2021 Cherokee Jeep, she hopes to achieve her other goal of making this year in Gamut a great one.
Sarah Li, Senior Staff Artist
Entering her last year of high school and second year on staff, the diligent, reliable, and pragmatic Sarah Li will serve as an illustrator for The Gamut. Aside from anticipating the joys of friendship and her senior year, Sarah allocates her time to her academic interests and hobbies, serving as Cyber Patriot president and SrCC member in addition to drawing and crocheting. Sarah’s appreciation for writing stems from its ability to provide an outlet for her thoughts, while her passion for art enables her ideas and creativities. Remaining ideologically dynamic, Sarah has no extreme dislikes, opting to keep an open mind instead. Sarah, a self-described T-Rex is looking forward to illustrating for The Gamut this school year!
Activate Search
The Student Newspaper of Oxford Academy
Meet Her at Midnight