Taylor Swift’s unexpected attendance was already a highlight of the 2022 VMAs, but then the singer-songwriter topped herself by announcing a brand new album.
Swift dropped the news while accepting the award for Video of the Year — the third win for her 10-minute version of “All Too Well” during Sunday evening’s broadcast. Midnights, out Oct. 21, marks her first new music since 2020’s Folklore and Evermore and her 10th studio album.
“I wouldn’t be able to re-record my albums if it weren’t for you,” Swift told her fans during her acceptance speech. “You emboldened me to do that. And I had made up my mind that if you were going to be this generous and give us this [award], I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand new album comes out Oct. 21. And I will tell you more at midnight.”
She kept her promise, revealing on social media that the record (unsurprisingly) contains 13 tracks. “This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams,” she wrote. “The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching — hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve … we’ll meet ourselves.”
In addition to winning “Video of the Year” at the VMAs, Swift took home the award for Best Longform video and Best Direction. That streak may continue at the 2023 Academy Awards, where “All Too Well” is eligible to win an Oscar in the best live action short category. Her arrival at the VMAs was a complete surprise, and Swifties everywhere had a collective freak out when she showed up wearing the “Mirrorball”-like dress Oscar De La Renta shared on Sunday in a since-deleted reel. (The caption read “Shining just for you tonight” — a lyric from the Folklore favorite.)
Despite it being two years since Swift released an album of new material, she’s kept incredibly busy, dropping both Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) last year, and the song “Carolina” for the soundtrack to Where the Crawdads Sing earlier this summer. She served as the first global ambassador at this year’s Record Store Day, inducted Carole King into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, from New York University (while delivering an incredible commencement speech). As for 2023, we’re just getting started.