A Deep Dive into What Taylor Swift’s Next Album Will Be About

Taylor Swift
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Anyone who follows Taylor Swift knows that the woman loves her Instagram clues. Whether it’s a cryptic photo or a mysterious caption, fans have dedicated their lives to deciphering the 29-year-old’s posts. The current conversation? Taylor Swift’s new album 2019 theories. It’s been two years since Swift’s last album, Reputation, which means that her seventh album is on the way. When will it come out? What will it be about? And who will be the collaborations? We’re not sure. But there are tons of fan theories that do the legwork for us.

Since the release of Reputation in October 2017, Swift has had some major changes in her life. She went public with her relationship with Joe Alwyn. She’s made some new friends, including Pete Davidson’s ex, Cazzie David. And she’s started posting on Instagram again—just check out her wine night with David and Selena Gomez or her star-studded New Year’s party with Gigi Hadid and Blake Lively. These major life moments could provide material for Swift’s new album. And while we don’t know for sure if Swift is releasing a new album in the near future, the signs point to yes. The country-singer-turned-pop-star has started doing press again, and it seems like a better time than ever to return to the spotlight. Find out everything we know about TS7 ahead.

When will it come out?

According to Perez Hilton, Swift’s new album will be out by the end of the year. In May 2018, Hilton claimed in a video blog that Swift told him that her next album will be out before she turns 30 on December 13, 2019. The conversation happened after Swift’s concert in Los Angeles. “What I did say to Taylor was I would love it if the next album had a song called ’30’ to keep up the continuation—she had ‘Fifteen,’ she had ’22,'” Hilton said. “She’s like, ‘Oh, well, the next album will definitely be out before I’m 30.'”

What Swift said makes sense. Aside from Reputation, the singer has usually released a new album every two years, which would make 2019 the year for TS7. When in 2019? We’re not sure, but Swift has been doing a lot of press that suggests that a surprise release could be coming sooner than we think. Swift is on the cover of both Elle US and Elle UK this month, meaning that she has to be doing press for something. Could it be new music? Could Swift pull a Beyoncé and drop a surprise album on us? We wouldn’t be surprised.

What are the theories?

The Mermaid Theory

The first theory to emerge about Swift’s new album was the mermaid theory, which came about in January 2019 when Swift dressed as Ariel from The Little Mermaid for her New Year’s party. The party’s theme was “childhood heroes,” so fans were confused when Swift chose ariel. It made sense when they noticed the other mermaid clues. On the same day as her party, Swift released her Reputation Stadium Tour special on Netflix, which ended with a shot her in a mermaid T-shirt. Coincidence? Not to fans, who also noticed that Swift wore a jacket with a mermaid patch on it for one of the photos from Reputation‘s booklet. Could she have been teasing TS7 all along?

Fans also pointed out that Disney’s The Little Mermaid came out in 1989, the same year Swift was born. As for what mermaids mean, there are two theories: One is that mermaids are often associated with beauty and love, so Swift’s new album won’t be short on the romantic lyrics. (Makes sense considering her serious relationship with Alwyn.) Mermaids also suggest a transformation (Ariel went from having fins to legs), which also may be a clue. Swift’s last album, Reputation, talked a lot about how her reputation was tainted following her feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Now that the public has moved on and Swift’s reputation is somewhat cleared, could she be transforming into something new, like a mermaid?

The Palm Tree Theory

Swift made headlines in February 2019 when she posted a rare Instagram of palm trees. The Instagram looked like it was a shot of the Los Angeles skyline, which made fans think that Swift would be attending the 2019 Oscars with her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. She didn’t attend, though she did post a photo of her outfit to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party later. That same night, Swift posted a third Instagram of her looking through a fence. All three of the photos were posted within 24 hours of each other (something unheard of, considering Swift’s lack of Instagram use), and each of them featured the same vintage-looking wash.

Many fans believe that the palm tree photo is a clue to TS7 because of the number of palm trees in the photo and caption: seven. Some even speculate that the palm tree in the middle symbolizes Swift’s next album, a cross between her current pop and past country. Another theory is that Swift’s next album (or single) will come out on April 26, based on the number of stars in the photo and when the photo was taken.

What will it be about?

My theory is that Swift’s next album will be about a fresh start, which fits with the mermaid theme of transformation. The singer ended her last album, Reputation, with the song “New Year’s Day.” The song tells the story of a new relationship, which many believe to be Swift’s relationship with Alwyn. But the song could also be symbolic of Swift’s career and her return to her singer-songwriter roots. “New Year’s Day” has a different sound than the rest of Reputation, and by ending the album with teh song, Swift is potentially hinting that the song is a clue to her next album. New Year’s Day is the start of a new year, but could it also be the start of TS7. Need us remind you that Swift also wore her Ariel costume to her New Year’s party, which could also be a hint that “New Year’s Day” is more than just a song.

There are also clues that Swift’s next album will be happier than the previous, crestfallen music that made her a household name. Not only is “New Year’s Day” a love song, but Swift also talked about “finding happiness and inspiration” in her essay for Elle, which suggests that TS7 will have a similar theme to “New Year’s Day.”

“I remember people asking me, ‘What are you gonna write about if you ever get happy?’ There’s a common misconception that artists have to be miserable in order to make good art, that art and suffering go hand in hand. I’m really grateful to have learned this isn’t true. Finding happiness and inspiration at the same time has been really cool,” she wrote.

Will there be any collaborations?

Katy Perry

The theory that Swift has a song with Perry started in February. (In case you need a refresher, Swift and Perry have been in a feud for years over shared backup dancers, but they made up last year when Perry apologized and offered Swift’s a literal olive branch.) The theory doesn’t have much credence, other than Perry posted a photo with a palm tree around the same time that Swift posted a photo of hers. Several fans have also pointed to a flamingo patch on one of Swift’s Reputation outfits as another clue that she and Perry are collaborating. They’re basing this off of the fact that Perry has also posted a picture with a toy flamingo. It’s not the strongest theory, but we would love the collaboration nonetheless.

Ryan Tedder

Tedder, the lead singer of OneRepublic, and Swift have collaborated on several songs, including “I Know Places” and “Welcome to New York,” and fans are convinced that he’s collaborated with her for the singer’s seventh album. Around the time of Swift’s palm trees photo, Tedder changed his Twitter header to pictures of palm trees. Coincidence? Fans think not.