Hold. The. Damn. Phone.
After months and months and months of near-total radio silence, Taylor Swift is back.
It’s been so long — seven months, but who’s counting? — since TayTay last posted anything (other than the odd shout-out to her #squad) that you may not have noticed how her Instagram became a literal blank space last week. Not only was every single photo taken down, Swift also stopped following everyone on the photo sharing app and blocked access to her personal website. She all but disappeared, quite a feat for someone with 102 million sets of eyes watching her every move.
Then came Monday, August 21st, when Taylor broke her silence and the internet lost its mind.
All we got was a 10-second silent video of what appeared to be a snake’s tail, but that was enough of an explanation. If you’re not sure why, let me catch you up to speed.
It all started back in July 2016, after Taylor and producer Calvin Harris broke up. The pair split two months after Harris released his hit “This Is What You Came For,” which it turned out Taylor had co-written under the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg. Swift’s team spilled the tea on that one, after allegedly agreeing not to make the co-write public knowledge. Snake emojis began to appear all over Taylor’s instagram not long after.
It didn’t stop there. The bad blood intensified and the snake association solidified after Kim Kardashian took to Twitter to defend her husband, Kanye West, over Swift’s response to West’s song “Famous.” In it, Kanye raps the line, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that bitch famous,” which Taylor and her team denied ever having heard or approved. Enter Kim, who then posted a video of a phone call between West and Swift, where it appeared that Kanye got a verbal okay.
That occurred on National Snake Day, if you can believe it.
Although the controversial line was not explicitly discussed in Kim’s video, snake emojis began appearing in full force. And I do mean full force. That is, until Instagram introduced a feature that allows celebrities to delete certain words or emojis from their feeds — fantastic timing for that, right?
Following the Kardashian-West expose, Taylor spoke up, stating that she wished to be removed from the narrative — and then, she fell silent. We all assumed she felt over-exposed. (She probably did.) We all wondered whether she was just focusing on her music. (She probably was.) We all hoped that this extended silence was part of a larger marketing ploy, designed to keep us on our toes and anticipating what Swift had to offer us next. (It totally was.)
It just happened to last a lot longer than most of us predicted, continuing until Monday morning, in fact, when with one 10-second video, the snake threatened to bite back.
And, just like that, the narrative was Taylor’s once again.
Fast forward a couple of days to Wednesday morning, August 23rd. There are now a total of six posts on Taylor’s Instagram and Twitter accounts. Three of these combine to reveal a snake, its red eyes staring straight into the camera. The other three reveal what fans have been waiting three years to hear — our girl is back, baby.
Not only is Taylor releasing her sixth studio album, Reputation, on November 10th, she is dropping its first single tonight (August 24th). According to sources, the new album will have a different sound than what we are used to from Swift, which is not surprising considering the whole “re-do” she has just embarked on online.
Also interesting: The MTV Video Music Awards are this Sunday (August 27th). Some more perfect timing, hey Taylor?
Will Reputation put TayTay back on top? Will it add fire to her ongoing feuds? I’m taking a break from reality TV props to set the Swiftest of odds.
Odds that Taylor releases a video for her new single at the MTV Music Awards: 1/4
Girl’s got a plan, and the timing seems a little too coincidental.
Odds that Reputation will clap back at Katy Perry: 1/3
Katy Perry’s recent single, “Swish Swish,” is rumored to be about the ongoing Taylor-Katy feud, though Swift’s name has yet to be dropped by Perry. I don’t expect Taylor to name names either (though she has before – ahem, John Mayer), but I do expect her to address the reputation she has with some of the other industry big wigs. It’s literally the name of her album, after all.
Odds that Swift’s first single from Reputation will dethrone “Despacito” from no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100: 4/9
“Despacito” has set records. But Swifties are fast, fierce, and have kept their girl topping the charts for years now. Add in months of hype and speculation, and the new single is bound to hit those charts running.
Odds that Ed Sheeran appears as a co-writer on Reputation: 5/4
Ed and Taylor go way, way back and he was actually one of the only people to reassure us that new music was on its way. Is this because he had a hand in creating some of it? It’s not too wild of a thought.
O/U on record sales for Reputation in the first week: 1.1 million
Swift’s last album, 1989, was the most successful record debut since 2002, selling 1.287 million copies in one week. Of course, actual record sales often struggle in today’s day and age, but Taylor has taken that into account. There is a reason you won’t find her on Spotify.
Photo: Eva Rinaldi (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/]
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