TS7 is coming and we all know it. Taylor Swift's seventh studio album is imminent according to her most passionate fans, and they have some ideas about what direction the versatile pop star will take her Reputation follow-up. Crazy TS7 fan theories range from the entire album being about mermaids to some surprisingly realistic rumors that the entire album was recorded before Reputation and shelved to make way for her rap-inspired response to the Kanye West/Kim Kardashian three-way-calling-attack drama.
We went to one of the most comforting corners of Reddit and found the good, bad, and ugly TS7 theories to make the wait go by faster than a green light go. Then, if you're still bored, go take this quiz to see which of Tay's exes is your soulmate.
Taylor threw a childhood heroes-themed New Years' Eve party to ring in 2019, and she dressed up like Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Swifties (and Time Magazine, apparently) took this a little too seriously and decided that TS7 is *obviously* going to be mermaid-themed. She also sported a mermaid tee-shirt in some Reputation tour bloopers and there was a mermaid on one of her Reputation tie-in magazine outfits. Crazy people on the internet took this even further, saying that mermaids transform just like Taylor (watching a lot of H20, Just Add Water, aren't we?) and that The Little Mermaid came out in 1989 when Taylor was born. K.
So, this happened *all the way* back in October 2018, when Taylor posted an Instagram of her and her mother, the iconic Andrea Swift, playing Scrabble. The letters on her tile stand are B, I, O, I, E, whose point values add up to seven. The caption, "Let the games BEGIN," led Twitter fans to take this post as the official start of TS7 clues and the prelude to the TS7 era. We know that Taylor is releasing music sometime this year, and her AMA speech hinted at the start of the next chapter, so this theory is... possible.
Another theory that got weirdly super popular was the idea that Taylor has a secret countdown happening in her Instagram posts. On February 24, 2019, Taylor posted an image with seven palm trees that sparked its own conspiracy, then followed it up with a photo of herself sitting on the sixth stair of a staircase. Next came this photo, which has five holes in a fence and featured the same floral top Taylor was wearing in her Scrabble picture in October 2018. This was pretty quickly disproven, but Reddit fans are still determined to decode the countdown.
Big Machine Records
That palm tree photo houses a wealth of information if Swifties are to be believed. The Insta pic has four palm trees on the left, two on the right and one in the middle, leading fans to believe their placement represents Taylor's discography. The cluster of four is her country albums, the pair is her pop albums, and the tree in the middle is TS7. This would, apparently, imply that TS7 is going to be a country-pop album, sitting in-between her country and pop eras. This theory from @tragicts on Twitter only got roughly 300 likes, but it spread like wildfire through the fandom.
Redditor DJjazzyJeff13 has a theory that TS7 will be related to flowers in some way, possibly including the album's title. Cue flashbacks to the "Roses" 1989 theory that ended up being based around a Kelsea Ballerini demo, but okay. The evidence here is that her Instagram has been v. pastel lately (true), she's worn tons of floral clothing this year, her 2019 calendar has a bunch of flower stamps (that other fans think are album release clues themselves), and that her shirt in the now-iconic Scrabble post has flowers on it. Oh, also, she pointed out the rumored single release date is also National Scrabble Day, just to add some gasoline to that fire.
Honestly, this theory is almost too believable. Like, it's very, very possible that TS7 was recorded before Reputation, but the Kanye West drama caused her to set TS7 aside to focus on an album that would once-and-for-all close that chapter of her story and take a stand against the haters. In the "Look What You Made Me Do" music video, a Taylor that doesn't correspond to any era but is outfitted fully in palm tree prints is seen on the wings of a plane titled TS6 and spray painting "Reputation" on its body. AvesWriting spelled out this piece of evidence pretty well, and it's honestly pretty convincing.
Pivoting back to the less realistic theories, Reddit user berniegee goes deep into a theory that's been alluded to across the interwebs. Some Swifties think TS7 is going to be disco-themed, and others think it will at least partly feature music relating to politics now that Taylor is #woke. berniegee mushes these two together to create a disco-themed political album theory. The absolute reach for evidence includes that she's wearing her hair like the Speak Now era because she's ready to speak... now (I cannot) and that the 70s were civil rights and the feminist movement (civil rights was the 60s but go off I guess).
Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com
A super popular theory is that TS7 is going to be a Greatest Hits album, which was required by her Big Machine Records contract. Even though she's split with Big Machine, a lot of people are saying that an acoustic Greatest Hits album is still coming. Reddit user martymcgrooce paints a picture of an album filled with acoustic covers and unreleased songs and thinks that the possible TS6 title Timeless will be the TS7 title, tying back into the idea that TS7 was recorded before Reputation. She had to mend her reputation in order for non-stans to be interested in a career retrospective, thus necessitating the delay.
Another 180, some Swifties think that TS7 will have tropical pop vibes, because Taylor likes to hop onto trends while they're fading out like mumble rap and EDM, or that it will be California themed. Of course, this once again goes back to the palm tree photo. Taylor has mentioned her love for California multiple times, and multiple commenters on the TS7 theories mega thread on Reddit including SaturnJohn, coscorrodrift, and firesideflea have floated the idea. localkhaleesi thinks the seven palm trees point towards the seventh month of the year, July, as part of the summer style evidence.
A few of the more rational theories seem to tie together nicely, like this idea that TS7 will be childhood throwback-themed. imrightthere20 drew inspiration from the same post that birthed that mermaid concept but focused on the childhood aspect to put together this theory that Taylor's thirtieth birthday inspired her to revisit her past and her teen years to write new songs. Honestly, this could just be taking evidence of the Greatest Hits album and misinterpreting it. She could be creating new songs based on her past, or she could be revisiting songs from her past. Throwback Thursday? More like Throwback Taylor. #TBT
edgeof82 on Reddit did a great job of breaking down moments from Taylor's past eras that shaped her career trajectory and what that might mean for TS7. If her past is any indication, Taylor will shift away from satirical songs after "Look What You Made Me Do" was criticized for being meh, she'll have more fan service after they stuck with her during the last few years during her controversies, and that she'll have more radio-friendly lead singles after TS6 was devoid of any huge chart hits. She'll also probably to try to write more likable hits to prove that she still can.
The range of "evidence" pointing towards so many different genres for Taylor's seventh album really proves how delicate all of these theories really are. Reddit poster chocolatewaltz thinks that TS7 will be rock-oriented because of rock elements incorporated into the 1989 tour during "We Are Never Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble" that became even more pronounced during the Reputation Stadium Tour. chocolatewaltz sites "I Did Something Bad," "Don't Blame Me," and "Ready For It" as having rock vibes (even though "Don't Blame Me" is ~clearly~ gospel inspired) and cites a bunch of tour song remixes that include rock-heavy elements.
Please, God, no. Just let this frenemy-ship die. A Reddit user with the truly terrible username UniqueUsernameLOLOL thinks that Kanye and Taylor might collab now that they're both under Universal Music Group, with Kanye producing some songs to bring a more authentic hip hop sound to her music. They think that Kylie using Taylor's song titles as lip kit names is a sign of reconciliation, but commenter Enchanted13 rightfully points out that bringing herself back into the narrative that she never asked to be a part of would do more damage to her reputation, especially considering Kanye's questionable political opinions as of late.
The general consensus is that Tayor's new album will either release in spring or winter of 2019. Taylor said that new music would be coming out before her thirtieth birthday according to Buzzfeed, which means we'll probably be getting the first taste of TS7 in the spring if other rumors are to be believed. This ~April 13th~ idea comes from the stamps in her 2019 calendar that inspired fans to think that the album singles and announcements would line up with these "hints" she snuck in with floral stamps (also connecting it back to the floral theory).
Another TS7 theory that uses things from Taylor's life for inspiration is the idea that TS7 will be titled Eternal. Bringing it back ~once again~ to the palm tree photo, some clever fans noticed that palm trees are a symbol of triumph, peace, and eternal life in the ancient Near East and that she had the word eternal literally stitched into her dress in beads for the Billboard Music Awards (which can be seen on Buzzfeed). The BBMAs were her first awards show in a long time, and it's super impressive that anyone noticed the detailing on her dress because it's so subtle.
Another theory that comes from evidence being interpreted in fun new ways is this idea from Reddit user bernigee (again). bernigee uses the floral shirts that Taylor has been wearing to craft a theory that the first single is going to be called "Forget Me Not" She's been wearing shirts that might have forget me nots on them, and it would connect to the ending of Reputation in "New Years Day" when Taylor sings, "Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you." This is a stretch, but it's a very fun stretch.
It's pretty easy to dismiss this theory because Taylor LOVES to capitalize random words on her Instagram posts, but she's used inventive capitalization on liner notes to send hidden messages to fans before, so it's not outside the realm of possibility that Insta posts are the new liner notes. Starting with the Scrabble post, Taylor capitalized the words Begin Another Me in a few subsequent posts, leading Redditor honoraryweasley to think they mean her new era has started. The new old Taylor is dead. Long live the new, new Taylor. Commenter mayathepsyciic pointed out that the capitalization of "Another" was pretty odd, so maybe we're onto something here.
Another idea that came from edgeof82's well-planned timeline is that Taylor will return to doing press, according to commenter sheikchilli, who noted that she no longer needs to make the point that she has been overexposed in the media. Other Redditors have noted in the past that Taylor did traditional press for 1989, and if TS7 really was originally intended as the follow up to her most-recent Album of the Year winner, it might lend itself to a similar press rollout as 1989 did. Taylor still keeps out of the public eye, especially when it comes to her relationship, so this may or may not come to fruition.
TBH, this isn't a theory from the internet, it's mine. I, personally, believe that Taylor Swift's next album is imminent (like, with a new era beginning in April or May) not only because of hints she's left on Instagram and posts she's liked on Tumblr, but because of the very rooted-in-reality reason that all of her Reputation merch is steeply discounted at the moment. Sure, it could just be a lot of flash sales happening now that the tour is over, but it seems like a better business move to get rid of as much Reputation merch as she can before it becomes irrelevant before putting new merch (like, say, for a single) up. She's also completely changed her website nearly every time a new era starts, which would disrupt merch sales. She's a great businesswoman, and these sales would minimize those losses.