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15 Clues Taylor Swift Has Dropped About Her New Album That Are Now Finally Making Sense

In an Instagram Live yesterday, Taylor Swift finally revealed some very important details about her upcoming seventh album. After months of speculation, she’s confirmed that it’s called Lover, features 18 tracks, and will be released on Aug. 23. Just a few hours after the livestream, Taylor released a brand-new song from the album — an absolute banger called “You Need to Calm Down”, which calls out online toxicity, sexism, and anti-gay sentiment. Getty Images Now, if you’ve been following this album rollout so far, you’ll be aware that Taylor has sent her fans on a metaphorical scavenger hunt, leaving hints and Easter eggs about the new release in everything from her clothing to TV appearances, live performances, and even the video for the album’s lead single, “Me”. Big Machine Records / Via Universal Records And now that we have finally have some details about the album as well as a brand-new song to explore, some of the hints Taylor has been dropping are now becoming clear. CBS

Here's what we've uncovered so far.

1. OK, first up, the title of the album was featured very prominently in the video for “Me”. In the scene where Brendon Urie gives Taylor her new cat, Benjamin Button, the word “Lover” can be seen behind her in neon lights. 2. The name of the album also appeared twice in the lyrics of “Me”. 3. And, in the lyric video for “Me”, Taylor repeatedly handwrote the word “Lover” in the exact same font as it appears on the album cover. instagram.com

And in more careful attention to detail, this particular font allows for the word to be read as “Seven” as well. Lover is, of course, Taylor’s seventh album.

4. Interestingly, the word “lover” has also appeared numerous times in Taylor’s lyrics over the years. Big Machine Records

It featured in “The Lucky One”, “Blank Space”, and “Call It What You Want” from Red, 1989, and Reputation, respectively, as well as in the prologue for Reputation. This is especially intriguing in relation to the theory that this album was supposed to be released immediately after 1989 but was scrapped in favour of Reputation which addressed the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West drama.

5. The title of her new single “You Need to Calm Down” was also revealed in the music video for “Me”. During the scene at the start where Brendon and Taylor argue in French, he says those exact words to her, which are then translated in onscreen. 6. We also have an answer as to why Taylor and Brendon were speaking French in this scene too. French is, of course, the ~language of love~, which ties in very well with an album called Lover. 7. In fact, Taylor confirmed in yesterday’s livestream that Lover has a “very romantic tone”. Instagram: @taylorswift

She continued: “Not just thematically — like, it’s not all love songs — because you can find romance in loneliness or sadness. It just looks at those things with a very romantic gaze.”

And there’s a literal nod to viewing experiences “with a romantic gaze” in the album’s cover art, where Taylor appears with a pink heart surrounding her eye. 8. The video for “Me” opened with a snake slithering along the ground. At the time, we all just assumed the snake was a reference to Taylor’s fallout with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Republic

Taylor was bombarded on Instagram with the snake emoji after Kim released ~those~ recordings on Snapchat, but she later reclaimed the imagery during the Reputation era.

But it turns out the snake was a direct reference to this lyric from “You Need to Calm Down”. genius.com

And let’s also note that the snake from the “Me” video was slithering across literal stones.

9. And, after slithering 13 times, that same snake then exploded into a swarm of butterflies. It seems that this moment in the “Me” video foreshadowed the cover art for “You Need to Calm Down”. Because the cover art shows Taylor with a sprawling tattoo of a snake and butterflies across her back. And, given that the shot appears to be taken from the video for “You Need to Calm Down”, it remains to be seen whether we’ll get any further insight into the motif. 10. The release of “You Need to Calm Down” also explains this scene from the “Me” video, where Taylor and Brendon were surrounded by a whole load of people wearing marching band uniforms. This imagery continued into the first live performance of “Me” back in May. Getty Images At the time, some fans speculated that the inclusion of a marching band was a nod to Taylor’s “You Belong With Me” video, but now we know that it was a reference to a lyric from “You Need to Calm Down” about an LGBT pride parade. 11. In fact, it seems that Taylor foreshadowed the political nature of “You Need to Calm Down” in a personal essay for Elle, published in March. elle.com

The essay comprised a list of 30 things Taylor’s learned in her (almost) 30 years of life. Number 28 in the list referenced the fact that she was growing in confidence when it came to expressing her political beliefs. Well, it turns out that “You Need to Calm Down” will be the 14th track on Lover, and was released on the 14th day of the month. Add those two 14’s together and you get 28 — the number on the list. And for anyone who thinks this is a reach, Taylor also told us in her livestream that she was releasing Lover on 8/23 because adding those numbers together produces 13 — her long-standing lucky number.

12. And she also foreshadowed the fact she’d specifically address LGBT rights during Pride Month back in May, by wearing a rainbow pin on a jacket during a photoshoot with Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly

The pin likely foreshadowed the fact that one month later she’d kick off Pride Month by writing a letter to her senator urging him to support the Equality Act and imploring fans to do the same, before releasing the pro-LGBT anthem “You Need to Calm Down” 14 days later.

13. We got a glimpse of the album’s aesthetic hours before Taylor dropped “Me”, when she posted this photo on Instagram. Little did we know then that the image was taken during the same photoshoot that captured the cover art for Lover. 14. Taylor’s dip-dyed hair has also drawn a lot of attention since this era began back in March. In fact, she’s alternated between blue, pink, and lilac tips in numerous public appearances and performances. Now we know that the hairstyle was a nod to the album artwork too. 15. And, finally, Taylor foreshadowed Lover’s release date and its number of tracks in her Elle essay back in March. elle.com

At the time, fans were confused by the specificity of the ages Taylor mentioned. Now we know that “283” was the rearranged date of the album’s release, and “18” represented the number of tracks on Lover.

The video for “You Need to Calm Down” drops on Monday, so I’ll see you then for some more decoding!

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