At midnight on Thursday, Taylor Swift premiered the third music video for her 2022 album Midnights. The video for Lavender Haze threw fans into a purple puff of sultry romance.
Keeping in theme with the album's motifs, the music video was, as she described it, a 70s fever dream, with on-theme outfits, surrealism, purple pools, and hazy house parties. And keeping in theme with Taylor’s style, it was not short of Easter eggs and references.
“I happened upon the phrase 'lavender haze' when I was watching Mad Men,” shared Swift in an Instagram reel. “I looked it up because I thought it sounded cool. And it turns out that it’s a common phrase used in the ’50s when they would describe being in love. If you're in the ‘lavender haze,’ you are in that all-encompassing love glow. And I thought that was beautiful.”
She went on to explain how staying in the ‘lavender haze’ is an act of ignoring social media and public scrutiny to preserve the sanctity of a relationship. She stated, “like my relationship for six years, we've had to dodge weird rumours, tabloid stuff, and we ignore it. So this song is about ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff.”
She also explained her love of hiding easter eggs for fans in her work in a statement she gave to the Washington Post this October. “When I was 15 and putting together my first album, [...] I decided to encode the lyrics with hidden messages using capital letters,” she said. “That’s how it started, and my fans and I have since descended into colour coding, numerology, word searches, elaborate hints, and Easter eggs. It’s about turning new music into an event for my fans and trying to entertain them in playful, mischievous, clever ways. As long as they still find it fun and exciting, I’ll keep doing it.”
Here are some of the best Easter eggs from the video that fans have decoded.
Swift's “Mastermind” record
A vinyl titled “Mastermind” was placed on the shelf. This a potential hint of what Midnights' next single (and music video) could be and another track seemingly about her partner Joe Alwyn, who also inspired Lavender Haze. The album art seems to make the constellations for her star sign Sagittarius align with Alwyn's star sign of Pisces.
In the video, Swift is seen blowing a ring of lavender smoke, which could be a small reference to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, where the caterpillar blows a call of smoke. And this wouldn’t be the first time that Swift has referenced the famous story. They’re also included in 1989’s Wonderland lyrics (“Didn't you calm my fears with a Cheshire cat smile?”), folklore’s long story short, and the Anti-hero music video where Swift drinks from miniature bottles and eats tiny food.
The Koi Fish
The koi fish floating around in the clouds in the video are a reference to Taylor’s koi fish patterned guitar from Speak Now era. In the music video for Bejeweled, she also hinted at the idea that Speaks Now would be her subsequent re-release.
In the second track on Midnights, Maroon, the first line sings, “When the morning came we/ Were cleaning incense off your/ Vinyl shelf ‘cause we lost track of time again.” In the music video, we see a stick of incense burning on the shelf where the Mastermind vinyl was placed and the dust gathering.
Purple for “Speak Now”
The purple imagery throughout Lavender Haze also serves as a nod to Speak Now coming next. Swift, in her Bejeweled music video, used purple on the elevator buttons to symbolise that re-release.
The weatherman is also Swift's love interest in the music video, Laith Ashley. Fans pointed out it illustrates her lyric from “Karma,” “Karma is the guy on the screen, coming straight home to me.”
“Our Song” Reference
Swift's purple flower field seems to allude to her “Our Song” music video; another fan pointed out. “Our Song” is from her debut album. We are perhaps hinting that the re-release of the debut album is coming soon.
The Nail Polish
The "Lavender Haze" video features a shot of Swift's feet. Her toenails are painted blue, which parallels the video for "Our Song" from her debut record. The 2006 album has yet to be re-released.
As usual, Taylor Swift has left her fans in awe with the complexity of her visuals and the thought and planning that goes into the chronology of her re-releases. Fans are awaiting Speak Now and the debut album Taylor Swift re-releases following the hints from the music video.
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