It’s as if Taylor Swift knew that Swifties wouldn’t be able to wait until Oct. 21 to discover all of the lyrics on Midnights. And thanks to her, they didn’t have to.
In the days leading up to the release of her 10th studio album, the pop star teamed up with Spotify to plant mysterious electronic billboards in five cities around the world, each of them programmed to display a singular line from an unnamed song on Midnights at the stroke of midnight local time. The locations of these special surprises were always teased a few hours beforehand on Spotify’s official social media accounts, meaning Swifties everywhere had the chance to camp out nearby in the hopes of becoming among the first to read a lyric from the “All Too Well” singer’s highly anticipated record.
The first of Swift’s billboards went live the morning of Oct. 17 in — where else? — Times Square, the world’s central destination for light-up signs and advertisements. “I should not be left to my own devices,” the cryptic lyric read.
Next came a simple, sweet fragment of Midnights, unveiled Oct. 18 on a billboard in London. “I polish up real nice,” it spelled out.
The next day marked a new peak. Not one, but two lyrics were revealed that morning at midnight, the first going live in São Paulo, Brazil, and the second in Nashville. “Just like clockwork, the dominoes cascaded in a line,” read the São Paulo billboard. And an hour later, in Swift’s home city: “Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room?”
The finale came Oct. 20, nearly 24 hours before all of the remaining lyrics on Midnights would be revealed once the album hit streaming services at midnight sharp on Oct. 21. “Breathe in, breath through, breathe deep, breathe out,” read a blue and orange graphic erected in Mexico City, which fans were quick to notice matched an exact phrase used by the singer-songwriter in her NYU commencement speech five months prior.
Take a look through photos of each of Taylor Swift’s Spotify lyric reveals in the gallery below: