Being a Taylor Swift fan means being ready to pick up on a hidden message in a song at a moment's notice, and the singer's latest offering doesn't disappoint. There are a series of Easter eggs in Swift's music video for "Delicate" that only the true fans among us picked up on. The track is the fifth on Swift's 2017 album Reputation, and likely for that reason, there are many references to the number five in the video, which was released Sunday. In it, the 28-year-old dances through a city, beginning in an upscale hotel lobby, and letting parking garages and subways take her to the end, where she's barefoot outside in the rain.
Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities for Easter eggs to crop up in the four-minute video. Swift dances by meaningful signs, like one that seems to give a nod to her relationship with Joe Alwyn, gives viewers glimpses of graffiti scrawls of her own "Delicate" lyrics in the background, and even acts out moments she's described in other songs. In short, there's a lot to keep up with here, and, in some cases, it requires an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the young singer's career. But luckily, Swiftian Detectives have had their hats on and their magnifying glasses out collecting clues ever since the video dropped on Mar. 11.
So, no matter if you're new to the scene or a fan very used to Swift's habits of hiding clues to her personal life in plain sight, you're in good hands. We're here to clue you in on any of the hidden references that you might have missed. Because everyone deserves to get full enjoyment of the "Delicate" video.
For the first half of the video, Swift is contained, both physically and emotionally. She wears a floor-length blue dress and is surrounded by a security detail who mirror her every move. (Four of them, by the way, making the singer the shiny blue fifth in the center. Probably not an accident.)
But after Swift turns herself invisible with what seems to be a spell on that shimmering piece of paper, her bonds are loosed. She shortens her dress into a fringey, flapper-y number, kicks off her shoes, and is free to roam the city on her own. And as soon as she leaves the hotel, Easter eggs abound.
Track 5 References
As the camera pans past the 1989 singer in the subway, you can see "Track 5" written on a column behind her, corresponding to "Delicate"'s place on the album.
Moments later, as Swift vaults over an orange safety barrier in the street, you can see "#5 Delicate" grafitti-ed onto a roll-down steel gate behind her.
On another steel gate a little further on, you can read a longer phrase: "echoes of your footsteps." This is a line of lyrics from "Delicate," and right behind Swift in the above image, "Reputation" is scrolled on yet another gate, giving nods to both the song, and the album that brought it to us.
Her Own Love Life
But it isn't all song lyrics and graffiti. In several shots throughout the video, the young performer seems to be giving a shoutout to one of the most important relationships in her life: Joe Alwyn. When she was in the hotel, fans noticed that Swift seemed to be spelling out her boyfriend's name with her dance moves.
And in the top left corner of the above image there's a sign for "Joe's Deli." Coincidence? Knowing Swift, probably not. First of all, it's long been speculated that "Delicate" is about Alwyn, and since "deli" is short for "delicatessen," and "Joe's" can also be short for "Joe is," she literally wrote it out for us: Joe. Is. Delicate(ssen.)
It certainly wouldn't be the first time she blurred the lines between personal and professional. She's given shoutouts to past boyfriends in videos before, and fans even speculated that she used a Mar. 7 hike with Alwyn as promo for the video this time around. They noted that the British actor wore an outfit referenced in the lyrics — "dark jeans and your Nikes."
And finally, the biggest potential connection of all —between "Delicate" and "Fearless," the title track off of Swift's 2008 album. The cover art for that single features the 28-year-old in front of a car in a blue dress, and the comparisons don't stop there. She also sings the lyric: "I don't know why but with you I'd dance in a storm in my best dress, fearless," which fans can't help but connect to this video.
Because what takes away fear more than being invisible? You get to dance like nobody's watching, just like Swift did throughout this video. Except the only thing is, we were watching, and it took our enjoyment of the video to a whole new level of Easter egg-y goodness.