Popstar Taylor Swift has been dropping hints for months that she is releasing new music, and fans have lost many a night's sleep trying to anticipate the singer's next move. But now at last it seems that their theories have been proved right, and TS7 is on its way.
Swift broke the news on Saturday with a Instagram story - and billboards across several world cities - that featured a clock counting down to April 26. She has since followed it up with a series of Instagram posts which all have the same caption: “4.26”.
So what can we expect from a new Taylor Swift record? These fan theories may offer some clues:
1 A new (old?) Taylor
Swift famously sings in Look What You Made Me Do that she “rose up from the dead, I do it all the timeblah” - and it indeed looks like we could be seeing a return of the old, carefree Swift. Take a look a her Instagram feed, and you'll find it awash with neon colours, glitter, and bokeh effects - a far cry from the snake videos she posted ahead of the release of reputation. Whichever version of the singer we get - Old, New, or Born-Again Swift - this record is sure to mark the next stage of her evolution.
Continuing with the metomorphosis theme, fans are pretty convinced that Swift's new record may have something to do with butterflies. She recently wore a butterfly-inspired outift to the iHeartRadio awards, and captioned photos from the event with a butterfly emoji. This led fans to suspect that TS7 will touch on the themes of growth, rebirth, and freedom.
Swift really does seem to be hanging up her Queen of Snakes title. In addition to butterflies, fans have been finding links between Swift and mermaids, from a t-shirt she wears in the behind-the-scenes footage of her reputation tour, to the Little Mermaid-inspired outfit she dressed up in at her New Year's Eve party. And after Swift wore a Cinderella-esque gown to the BAFTA awards in February, fans took this theory one step further, predicting that her new record would follow a fairytale theme.
4 Palm trees
The link gets slightly more tenuous here, but stick with us: earlier this year, Swift posted a photo on her Instagram which featured palm trees - seven, to be precise. In the Swiftosphere, that's a clear allusion to TS7. It brought some fans to the conclusion that Swift's new record may have references either to Los Angeles - a city famous for its palm trees, and where Swift is believed to have shared a few first dates with Alwyn - or to some kind of island paradise, or possibly even a song called Paradise.
Last July, Swift interviewd 60s icon Patti Boyd for US magazine Harper's Bazaar. She asked Boyd about being a muse to rock 'n' roll legends George Harrison and Eric Clapton. Could this interest in Clapton and the Beatles have leaked into her songwriting?
6 Joe Alwyn
Speaking of muses, Swift seems to have found hers in long-term boyfriend, actor Jow Alwyn. In an article she recently penned for Elle magazine, Swift wrote that “Finding happiness and inspiration at the same time has been really cool”. Swift's music has always been influenced by love and romance, so it woudn't be beyond the realm of possibility for these themes to appear again on TS7.
Fans have good reason to believe that this may be the title of Swift's new single. It's taken from the final line of Swift's Elle piece, and the singer also used it to caption an Instagram post promoting the article. It may not seem like much to go on, but Swift has pulled this trick before; back in 2017, she shared an Instagram post with the seemingly-innocent caption "...ready for it?" two full months before dropping her single of the same name.
Whatever the next Taylor Swift era may bring, it seems that fans won't have to wait much longer to find out. Let the countdown to TS7 begin.