Look, it’s an even number year, and we’re a week or so shy of October. Usually around this time, it’s not about if a new Taylor Swift album will come out, but when will the new Taylor Swift album debut. It’s Taylor Season, and when songstress Kelsea Ballerini Snapchatted what looked like a new Swift song, the internet was ready to go a-picking for Swift’s next hit record. But, with lots of room for doubt that it’s really the pop star's new track, we’re all frustrated and left wondering if Swift will release a new record soon... or if this is a bad season for pop music crops.
Well, in the interest of doing a deep dive, I scanned high and low to see if there were any clues that a new album is truly on its way. The thing is, Swift has kept kind of mum in the past few months due a myriad of guy drama and recorded calls. But maybe this tumultuous place in her life is only further proof that we’re going to have a fruitful season after all.
So, in true Sherlock Holmes fashion (deductive reason plus also low-key social media stalking), here are all the hints we may get a new Swift album super soon.
1. The Timing
Let me just reiterate the rules of Taylor Season for those who don't get it. Swift drops a record every two years around late October, with the only slight exception being Fearless, released in November. Now, back in August, Scott Borchetta, president and CEO of Swift's label Big Machine Records, gave a big "NOPE" on Twitter about whether another Swift album will be released in October. But that doesn't mean she can't push it to November, or even get crazy and do December. In fact, that doesn't mean that there still won't be an album, because there's a deeper urgency for a hit record right now. Allow us to wade through some unpleasant things...
2. The Calvin Harris Break-Up
Even in 2016, the media loves making sexist digs about how Swift writes revenge songs about her exes, la la la. There were rumors post split-up, though, that Swift had revived writing songs following her professional hiatus. Of course, that vague claim might be murky because it comes from "an insider at E! News," and the same insider declared Swift, "wants to be single for a while." And we all know how that turned out.
3. The Rumors About Writing With Tom Hiddleston
Not in a literal sense that she and Loki were composing songs together. Another E! insider mentioned that, during their whirlwind romance, Swift was getting creative, saying, "They have gotten very close. She is enjoying the time off from working. She has been writing during her travels, and Tom has been an inspiration in her music." Interesting.
4. The Subsequent Hiddleswift Break-Up In General
I'm not trying to reinforce that "Taylor Swift writes love revenge songs" sexism, but, for any artist, a break-up is new material to draw from. And, likewise, the strange-from-the-get-go relationship is something that Swift might want to put in her rearview mirror, either by creating a great record to obscure the short-lived romance or performing a eulogy for it with a brand new hit single. Or both?
5. The "Famous" Incident
While the whole #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty is, well, over, Swift's celebrity is still in recovery. So, to reaffirm what was mentioned earlier, the urgency to put out an amazing album out is more intense than it was a month ago.
6. Swift's Low-Key Retreat From Social Media
If you look at Swift's Twitter page, she was tweeting with a sort of regularity in spring, and then only came up a few times for water post Kanye fall out. There could be many reasons for this, or there could be no reasons for this. It's suspect either way.
7. Gigi Hadid's "Confirmation" That There's New Music
Swift recently attended Hadid's #TOMMYNOW show during New York Fashion Week, and the supermodel was stoked, telling Entertainment Tonight, "She’s obviously such a great friend, and you know she is starting to go back to work in the studio again, and really made time to be here for me, and I am so grateful for that." Um, "starting to go back to work in the studio." It's right there, guys.
8. The Kesha Connection
This one's a bit of a stretch, but worth a mention: in September Kesha posted an Instagram announcing, "making a F*CK OFF song with a casual Grammy award winning secret person." Now, this could be any number of talented musicians, but the number of whimsical emojis happened to be 13. Which is, you know, Swift's lucky number. Another thing to keep in mind is that Swift donated financial support ($250,000 specifically) to help pay off Kesha's legal fees. So a collaboration between the two blondes? Not impossible.
9. A Martha Hunt Wink
The supermodel may not be on the top tier of Swift's squad, but she's moving up the ranks and close enough to weigh in. So when asked about Swift's new record, Hunt told E! Online, "You won’t be disappointed, that’s all I’m gonna say." So, like, is Hunt just assuming this, or has she listened to the demos during cat-and-wine night? Food for thought.
10. The Cache Of A Surprise Album, In Lieu Of No Hard Evidence
Look, even if you look at the hints and are still not convinced, I'm just going to throw it out there that Swift would be very, very wise to pull a Beyoncé and release a surprise album. If she has, in fact, just gotten back into the studio, and really wants to rush it, she could definitely get an album out by the end of the year. Done right, it would be a huge power move and help to diminish all the aforementioned badness that's befallen Swift in the past few months.
11. The [Aftermath Of] The Ballerini Snapchat Drop
Just to gloss this over this really quickly before we do a "case closed," while Ballerini has asserted that the Snapchat song snippet has nothing to do with Swift, she did tweet to Pop Crave that, "I <3 Tay and am equally as stoked for her new stuff as you!" So does that mean Ballerini has insider knowledge that there is new stuff on the horizon? Or is she just like us normals, presuming there's new work on the way (because Swift is a musician, and that's how musician's work)? IDK, fam, IDK. And finally...
12. Her Birthday
As I said earlier, we are in the usual time range during which Swift would drop an album. But, most tellingly, her last album, 1989, was so named because Swift "[was] born on Dec. 13 1989." Perhaps she plans to follow up on that theme by dropping her follow-up album on her actual birthday, Decemebr 13.
While it makes sense that we'll be able to harvest for Swift season soon, it's still difficult to find hard evidence about a release. So, until then, we'll just hold out the hope that the singer's being stealth about this one, because, man, who wants to wait until 2017?
Images: Giphy (11)