Ever since Taylor Swift posted an Instagram video two weeks ago of herself repeatedly pushing the “18” button on an elevator, savvy fans knew exactly how this was going to play out. On August 18, she would announce the date of her new album release, just as she did in the summers of 2012 (Red) and 2010 (Speak Now). The album would come out sometime in October, as it always does. And there’d probably be a new song before then.
Indeed, all of that has now come to pass. On Monday, Swift announced in a Yahoo livestream that she has a new single (“Shake it Off”), complete with music video, and her new album, called 1989, will come out on October 27.
“Shake It Off” is about haters, what they will do (“hate hate hate hate hate”) and what you should do in response to them (“shake shake shake shake shake… shake it off”). It has some good grumpy trombones in the background. It has a horrible break in which Swift… talks? I can’t in good conscience say “raps.” The video is a montage of Swift dancing poorly in different styles, from ballet to twerking, in front of some background dancers who are dancing well in those different styles. It is fine. I have already listened to it 15 times.
“I like to make a new album every two years,” Swift explains during the livestream to her fans who have not already figured out her pattern, noting that two years is enough time to change your hairstyle, where you live, everything about your life. Two years has also probably exactly how long the people can go without a new T-Swift album, just enough time to leave them aquiver with anticipation, but not so long as to incite a rebellion.