We're going to need a whiteboard and a lot of string to figure out all the clues that Taylor Swift has dropped about her upcoming album.
Shortly after releasing her single "ME!" with Brendon Urie — which she teased with a giant butterfly mural in Nashville the day of its midnight release — Swift has given a new interview to Entertainment Weekly about what fans can expect from TS7. However, it's not so much what she says in the interview that provides the clues — it's the pins that Swift wears on her jean jacket that's having us scrambling to decode the meaning.
"I love that they like the cryptic hint-dropping. Because as long as they like it, I’ll keep doing it. It’s fun. It feels mischievous and playful," Swift told Entertainment Weekly of her fans.
EW confirmed in a press release that the pins are there to be analysed. So, if Swift approves — let's decode what the pins she's wearing means.
Thank you for such a wonderful experience @EW - I loved getting to talk with @AlexJSuskind (yep I said it, I did an actual interview with a human journalist!! ?) Wanted to rep as many things/people I love on the jacket ? and more in the interview. https://t.co/C6dtAPFgfF pic.twitter.com/zp0IiEPTn2— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 9, 2019
Arya & Sansa Stark
The Game of Thrones characters played by Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner could be a nod to Swift's long documented love of the show. However, it also might be a suggestion that some songs on her new album will be a continuation of her sixth album, reputation. In the interview with Entertainment Weekly, Swift said that much of that album was based on Game of Thrones.
"These songs were half based on what I was going through, but seeing them through a Game of Thrones filter," Swift explained to the outlet. "'Look What You Made Me Do’ is literally Arya Stark’s kill list. 'King of My Heart' was influenced by Khal Drogo and Daenerys."
She does not mention Sansa specifically, which could suggest that Sansa's story arc — much of which is about surviving and rising from trauma stronger than ever — could also be a big inspiration. In 2018, Swift battled her alleged assaulter in court and won.
Swift and Gomez are longtime besties. The picture Swift chose for her pin is of Gomez rocking platinum blonde hair, which is around the time she released her track "Wolves." Many people thought that Gomez's song was about her battle with lupus, which led to mental health issues down the line. Could Swift write a song about helping her friend get through illness? Swift did tease to EW that there are "some really, really, really, really sad songs," on the album but "not enough to where you need to worry." Perhaps Swift is going back in time to not knowing if one of her dearest friends would be okay following a health crisis.
Well, there's that or the more hopeful option: that Swift and Gomez have a song together on the new album. EW reported that the album will feature a mix of "new and old" collaborators.
The singer and Boy Erased actor is also a featured pin. Could Swift be working with the performer on an upcoming track? It's worth noting that Sivan is openly gay and that Swift also includes a rainbow heart pin, which could represent the LGBTQ+ community. Perhaps Sivan and Swift will collaborate on a new track from a queer perspective — which would be a first for Swift.
"Calm" & "Awesome"
Inspiring words, sure, but...could they also be the titles of upcoming tracks?
Swift is a longtime fan of the Dixie Chicks and even included a still of the country trio in her "ME!" music video. A collaboration could be in the works, or Swift could just be sharing love to artists that inspired her.
"If not for this woman and her band, I would not have known that you could be quirky, be fun, be yourself, be outspoken and brave and real," Swift shared during the Los Angeles date of her 1989 World Tour, after Dixie Chick Natalie Maines shared the stage with her for a song. "I wouldn't have, when I was, you know, nine-years-old, gotten my first CD. I wouldn't have dreamed the things that I dreamed, and I wouldn't be standing on this stage today."
The Cast Of Friends
Swift looooves her some Friends, but it also might be a way to indicate she's in a good headspace. In a 2015 interview with the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, she shared that it was the show she used to treat herself.
"I really like the feeling of: 'You know what? I've been busy. I deserve this watching two hours of TV at the end of the night'... I like Friends because I've seen every episode, so it's like switching my brain off. I know exactly what they're about to say."
Hmm, sounds pretty "calm"-ing, no?
Swift adores this show, so much that she named one of her cats Dr. Meredith Grey. The inclusion of Mer (Ellen Pompeo) and Cristina (Sandra Oh) might just be a nod to her favorite show — or it could suggest that her upcoming album will feature stories of an epic friendship like theirs.
What will TS7 entail? Lots of bops, hopefully, and hopefully an explanation for Swift's many, many clues.