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A new Taylor Swift era is officially here, and with it comes her new song “ME!” and its music video, both of which she released at midnight ET on Friday.
The upbeat pop song features Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco. Further details of a potential new album were not announced with the song.
The new music comes after a countdown to April 26 appeared on Swift’s official website and social channels starting Friday, April 12. Since then, the songstress has released pastel-colored teases of various, seemingly random images of everything from a bike to a yellow blazer to her cats, all with the same sweet aesthetic, indicative of a new era of music (and all of which seem to appear in some form in the “ME!” music video). It’s a far departure from the snake-themed, darker tones of her Reputation era, which was also teased on social media before its announcement.
Rumors were rampant as far back as Feb. 24, when Swift posted a stylized photo on Instagram featuring seven palm trees, which some theorized meant it referred to her next album, which will be her seventh. Eagle-eyed fans also pointed out that there were 61 stars in the pic, and coincidentally, there were exactly 61 days between Feb. 24, when the initial Instagram photo was posted, and April 26, the teased date.
Hours before the big drop, the singer-songwriter joined ABC’s Robin Roberts during Thursday’s NFL Draft to confirm the new music. “It’s a song about embracing your individuality and really celebrating it and owning it,” she said of the new beat, adding, “You know, I think that with a pop song we have the ability to get a melody stuck in people’s heads and I just want it to be one that makes people feel better about themselves, not worse.” Swift also thanked her fans “for caring about the music that I make.”
She also made a reference to all of her cryptic hints, saying that “it makes it so much more fun” for her to “create music and music videos knowing [fans] will care about little Easter eggs or clues or hints — you have no idea how much fun that is.”
Her new music is her first since leaving her previous record label, Big Machine Records, and signing a new worldwide deal with Universal Music Group in November of last year.
Swift’s last album Reputation, which was released in November 2017 and launched with 1.2 million copies sold in its first week, became her sixth to sell more than two million copies in the U.S.
In addition to the new music, Swift is also set to star as Bombalurina in Tom Hooper’s big-screen adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats in December.
Watch the music video, which was directed by Dave Meyers and Swift, for “ME!” below.
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