Taylor Swift rises from the dead: a fresh start with a new single “ME!”

Haine Jung, Reporter

From mid-April, Taylor Swift has been completely changing up her Instagram feed from dark themed pictures which are the motifs of her last album, Reputation, to a mysterious set of pastel colors. She has even left fans with a countdown, changing her Instagram bio to “4.26,” indicating that something big will happen on Apr. 26. Whether it was a new album, a new single, a new event, fans on social media outlets, including Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter, shared the countdown of Taylor Swift’s Instagram story, including pictures of themselves beaming with excitement. Swift shared her fans’ posts on her story as well. At 12:00 on the day of the mysterious countdown, it was revealed that it was a new single called ME! featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco.

Fans, also called Swifties, were excited as her new pastel theme on her Instagram page marked the beginning of a new “era.” Swift’s main motif of her last studio album Reputation was a snake, which many fans assumed was a symbol of mockery to how the media and social media users continuously assailed her, calling her a “snake” after her feud with Kanye West with his song Famous in 2016. In one of her singles in the Reputation album, Look What You Made Me Do, Swift included the lyrics “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead!” This juxtaposes with the rather jaunty lyrics of her new song, ME!: “I’m the only one of me. Baby, that’s the fun of me” and “You can’t spell ‘awesome’ without me.”

“[ME!] is such a [unique] song and a different style. Taylor literally went from black to colorful and the music video surprised me so much. [It is] a very positive song. It’s fun and exciting and it’s a song that can match with kids. It brings happiness to people,” said sophomore Emily Chen, who has been a fan of Taylor Swift for eight years.

Taylor Swift has also been making appearances in interviews and award shows, including the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, BBC Radio, and more. She even performed her new single with Brendon Urie at the awards show. This is the first time since before Reputation was released.

The music video indeed also seems to have the pastel and colorful motif. The video begins with a white snake slithering on a colorful concrete ground, until it pops into many little butterflies flying across the screen. Swift wears several outfits in the video that are decorated according to her new style and theme. The video is filled with special effects that remind viewers of happiness and positivity, matching with the message of her song as well. Apparently there are many clues in the video regarding the titles of her upcoming new singles and even the title of her new album, referred as TS7 (her seventh album) among Swifties for now. Swift is known for including visual clues and symbols on social media and in her music videos.

“I think that music is fun to expand upon…it’s fun to turn it into a visual element…an aesthetic element…symbolic messaging, so [doing that,] I feel like, makes music more of an experience for fans,” said Swift in an interview with Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1.

“[I think that] Taylor is telling people that they have to be themselves wherever they go or whatever they do. She’s telling people that everyone is special and everyone’s important someone else,” Chen said. “I streamed the video so much the first day [the song was released] I literally didn’t do any homework.”