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Taylor Swift served up a surprise treat for her fans, releasing the music video for her Midnights song “Lavender Haze” at, well, midnight. The visuals arrived less than 24 hours after she announced the drop on Thursday morning. And given this is a Swift music video, there are ample easter eggs in it referencing her past, lyrics, and possible future music releases.
Swift explained on Twitter shortly after the video’s release that it served as a mood board for the album. “This was the first video I wrote out of the 3 that have been released, and this one really helped me conceptualize the world and mood of Midnights, like a sultry sleepless 70’s fever dream. Hope you like it,” she wrote.
Swift herself gave away the meaning of “Lavender Haze” while discussing the track before its release. “Lavender Haze is track 1 on Midnights,” she said in an Instagram video in October. “I happened upon the phrase ‘lavender haze’ when I was watching Mad Men. I looked it up because I thought it sounded cool. And it turns out that it’s a common phrase used in the ’50s where they would describe being in love. If you’re in the ‘lavender haze,’ then that meant you were in that all-encompassing love glow. And I thought that was really beautiful.”
She added, “I guess, theoretically, when you’re in the ‘lavender haze,’ you’ll do anything to stay there. And not let people bring you down off of that cloud. I think that a lot of people have to deal with this now, not just like ‘public figures,’ because we live in the era of social media, and if the world finds out if you’re in love with somebody they’re going to weigh in on it. Like my relationship for six years we’ve had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it. So this song is about the act of 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 color coding, numerology, word searches, elaborate hints, and Easter eggs. It’s really 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, all the best easter eggs from “Lavender Haze” that have been identified and decoded by fans so far. You can watch the music video below.
The clock striking midnight: An obvious one, referencing her Midnights album and lyric, “meet me at midnight.”
Swift’s “Mastermind” record: 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.” A fan also noted that the album art seems to make the constellations for her star sign Sagittarius align with Alwyn’s star sign of Pisces.
The clock puff of smoke: A reference to Alice in Wonderland‘s caterpillar and the clock imagery she has used to promote Midnights. The back of her different album versions form a clock.
The koi fish referencing her Speak Now guitar: Swift hinted in her “Bejeweled” music video too that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) was her next upcoming re-recording.
The 13 over Nashville, Swift’s home, in the weather report: Eagle-eyed Swifties quickly caught the subtle call out to Swift’s favorite number.
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 symbolize that re-release.
The midnight weather report, as one Swiftie pointed out, is a reference to album track “Midnight Rain.”
The weather man 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.”
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.
Swift referenced “Bejeweled” with her bejeweled table top, one Swiftie noticed. Swift appears to be alluding to multiple Midnights tracks and their lyrics in the video.
This post will be updated with more Easter eggs as they’re identified.
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.