Taylor Swift gave a major musical update on her Instagram Live this afternoon. Her next single, “You Need to Calm Down,” is coming out at midnight tonight—though just the song. The video will come out a few days later on June 17 and will debut on Good Morning America (and then it’ll be on YouTube). And her album, Lover, will have 18 songs and be out on August 23. “The tone is really romantic,” she said during her Live. There will be four deluxe editions of the album at Target (“everything in these is unique content,” she said showing them in her video).
In addition, Swift revealed her album cover, shot by Valheria Rocha, and that she collaborated with fashion designer Stella McCartney (likely for a fashion line, although Swift kept it vague when she announced the news) for the album.
Here, some greater details on all of Swift’s new news.
Why Swift is releasing just the song tonight: “I wanted you to hear the song first, then see the video. Because the video is very worth the wait. There’s a lot going on in the video so I wanted that to be a separate discovery.”
The album has 18 tracks and a romantic theme: “That’s more songs than I’ve ever had before. And this album in tone is very romantic—and not just simply thematically, like it’s all love songs or something because I think that the idea of being romantic, it doesn’t have to be a happy song. I think you can find romance in loneliness or sadness or going through conflict or dealing with things in your life. I think it just looks at these things with a very romantic gaze.”
An easter egg detail about Swift’s album release date: “An easy way to remember that date is August is the eighth month of the year and then 23, two plus three so you just add it all together: eight plus two plus three equals I’m obnoxious. So you know, everything—if you just want to remember that, oh, it adds up to 13.”
The deluxe editions of her album will have two extra audio recordings: “Usually when I’m writing songs, I like to just record everything that’s happening. I like to keep just have something recorded when I’m thinking of an idea and then keep it rolling when I’m adding things to it, editing things just because sometimes you think of the melody or something but then you just forget it the next second so that’s why I keep recording all the time. So the two pieces of audio content is the full creation of two of the songs on the album that I really love.”
Swift is releasing an fashion collaboration with Stella McCartney for the album. How it came about: “For the release of the Lover album, there’s going to be a collaboration that I’ve done with Stella McCartney. And she’s been a friend for a really long time and also just a woman who I respect so much. I respect what she creates, how she creates it. I think she adds—there’s so much whimsy and imagination and romance to the clothing that she designs and I’ve worn a lot of her stuff recently. And she’s heard the new album and this new collaboration is inspired by the Lover album.”
And below, footage of her Instagram Live:
Swift teased yesterday on her social media that she would be making a major announcement during the 5 P.M. broadcast.
It comes days after Swift went viral for declaring her friendship with Katy Perry when Perry shared a plate of “Peace at Last” chocolate chip cookies with Swift tagged. Swift commented 13 hearts on the Instagram. (Thirteen is Swift’s signature number, so some fans believe she may have been dropping an Easter egg about a possible future collaboration.)
Perry had said in March, at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, that she was “open” to working with Swift in the future.
Swift’s debut single from her seventh album, “ME!” was released at the end of April. While Swift was in Paris, she told NRJ that there were hints in her French dialogue (where “je suis calme!” the hint for her single “You Need to Calm Down”, came from).
“I wanted to hide a lot of clues in the dialogue and I just think French is a beautiful language,” she told the outlet. “There are some other reasons that are definitely clues to other things.”
Swift essentially gave away her album’s title at the end of May during her interview with the Independent. The outlet asked her how many clues there were about TS7’s title in her “ME!” music video. “I think you see it once, and you hear it twice,” Swift said. Fans quickly picked out “lover” was the word that fit that.