Taylor Swift's "New Year's Day" paints an intimate picture of the morning after an end-of-the-year party. But it's also a sweet love song. As Swift sings about a memorable laugh on "New Year's Day," she has fans wondering who that laugh belongs to. And if you can figure out whose laugh Swift is singing about, then you can know who the romantic subject of "New Year's Day" is. Even though Swift reportedly said that other songs off of Reputation, like "Gorgeous," are about her current boyfriend Joe Alwyn, this laugh line might make you think that the final song on the album is about a previous boyfriend with a notable laugh — namely, Harry Styles or Tom Hiddleston.
If Swift's new song is to be believed, the famous singer spends New Year's Day the same way many people do — cleaning up bottles from the party the night before. But while the actions are common, the person she is hanging out with is most likely far from ordinary. She sings, "Please don't ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere" and this laugh is one of the only solid details that she gives about the subject of the song. So whose recognizable laugh is she singing about? Considering the public really isn't all too familiar with Alwyn's laugh, Styles and Hiddleston are far easier to speculate about.
Even though Hiddleston got worldwide recognition for playing the villain Loki in Thor, the actor has a pretty goofy laugh that makes him all the more endearing. As BuzzFeed shared, there's even a video of Hiddleston watching a video compilation of himself laughing. (He's got a heh-heh type of laugh.) As Hiddleston explained it, "It makes me sound absolutely bonkers. Like it makes me sound completely bananas." Yet, you can probably rule out Hiddleston since his relationship with Swift only lasted for a few months in the summer of 2016. That most likely means that they weren't heh-hehing in the new year together.
As video compilations will also show, Styles has a more animated laugh than Hiddleston, especially during his younger days in One Direction. So it could be argued that Styles' more boisterous laugh makes it more recognizable. Swift singing about Styles makes much more sense when looking at the timeline of their relationship as well. Swift and Styles broke up in January 2013, but they still greeted 2013 as a couple since Billboard reported they kissed in Times Square on New Year's Eve. And because "New Year's Day" also has lyrics about polaroids — something that is associated with Swift and Styles' relationship due to her "Out of the Woods" lyrics — Styles' laugh could be the winner.
Yet, Swift dated Styles over four years ago now, so does it really make sense that she's still singing love songs about him? Especially when all other evidence points to Swift being so smitten with Alwyn? Since Swift and Alwyn's romantic timeline isn't completely public knowledge yet, it's harder to say. But she did attend the screening of his film Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk in November 2016, so there's a definite possibility that they rung in 2017 together — even if Australian Elle had discussed the possibility of Swift spending New Year's 2017 with Drake.
When it comes to Alwyn's laugh though, there is far less concrete proof of it than there is of Styles' and Hiddleston's. For example, when he promoted Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, he was notably serious in many of the interviews that are available on YouTube. He did crack a smile when he spoke to People with his costar Kristen Stewart, but alas, there was no real, audible laugh.
But Swift doesn't sing that everyone could recognize the person's laugh in "New Year's Day" — she just says that she could recognize it. And although the song is wistful, it does seem to be hopeful about this relationship lasting since she describes it as a "long road." So even if fans can't recognize Alwyn's laugh, Swift sure can and so she's probably singing about his mysterious chuckle on "New Year's Day."