Taylor Swift‘s 10th studio album, Midnights, dropped on Friday (Oct. 21) with a flourish that included a playfully introspective video for “Anti-Hero,” a long-awaited Lana Del Rey collab featuring a sly Janet Jackson shoutout, a Swiftie-spurred suggestion that the lyrics contain a John Mayer diss, the YouTube Shorts #TSAntiHeroChallenge and a Midnights (3am Edition) with seven extra songs, as well as three additional tracks on the deluxe CD (two of the trio are remixes).
The project once again teams Swift with her long-time writing/producing partner Jack Antonoff, who is credited with co-writing 11 of the 13 songs on the traditional version of the album. The roster of songwriters also includes a few unexpected names, including actress Zoë Kravitz on two of the tracks, Del Rey, and yet another pseudonymous contribution from Swift’s boyfriend Joe Alwyn as his alter ego, William Bowery. Bowery/Alwyn also had credits on tracks from Swift’s pandemic albums Folklore and Evermore.
Other collaborators in the mix include producer Jahaan Sweet (Drake, Travis Scott), as well as Antonoff’s Red Hearse band members Sam Dew and Mark Anthony Spears, aka Sounwave (Kendrick Lamar), and Beyoncé collaborator Keanu Torres (aka Keanu Beats).
Midnights is the follow-up to Swift’s 2020 cozy folk double-dip Folklore and Evermore albums, marking a return to her poppier, more synth-oriented sound. “Midnights is a wild ride of an album and I couldn’t be happier that my co pilot on this adventure was Jack Antonoff,” she wrote in a note to fans that accompanied the release, pointing out that it is the first album they’ve done with just the two of them as main collaborators.
In the Friday morning Instagram post, Swift elaborated on the team behind the project. “We’d been toying with ideas and had written a few things we loved, but Midnights actually really coalesced and flowed out of us when our partners (both actors) did a film together in Panama,” she wrote. “Jack and I found ourselves back in New York, alone, recording every night, staying up late and exploring old memories and midnights past.”
She then ran down the list of their collaborators, including Midnights engineer (Laura Sisk) and album photographer Beth Garrabrant. “Midnights is a collage of intensity, highs and lows and ebbs and flows. Life can be dark, starry, cloudy, terrifying, electrifying, hot, cold, romantic or lonely. Just like Midnights,” Swift wrote. And while it initially appeared that Swift’s chief Folk-More collaborator Aaron Dessner was not involved in Midnights, the bonus edition of the collection features four co-writes with the guitarist/composer from moody rock band The National.
Check out our ranking of the Midnights songs, and see who worked on each below.