All The Clues That ‘1989’ Is The Next Taylor Swift Rerecorded Album We’re Going To Get

Fans have been digging, and it looks like we’re about to be welcomed to New York all over again.

Taylor Swift would be the ultimate Sherlock Holmes villain. With a sly smile and a twinkle in her eye, she scatters clues, easter eggs and red herrings in her wake, just daring you to try and crack the code. Extending the analogy, Taylor Swift fans, after years of this stuff, are nothing short of Sherlock Holmes. Cunning, ruthless and scarily dedicated, Swifties stop at nothing until they’ve cracked every single code that Swift leaves them – and, more often than not, they do.

So, we can safely presume that if Swifties have a theory en masse, they’re likely onto something. The latest code the fanbase think they’ve cracked? That Taylor Swift’s gargantuan 2014 album, 1989, will be the next album she rerecords.

Now, the vast majority of clues that Swift has dropped  came by way of a bizarre interview with Stephen Colbert that felt  like it was clearly put together specifically for her to drop said clues. They talk about almost nothing of importance, they don’t even promote Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Colbert continues to insist that “Hey Stephen” was written about him, and Swift constantly denies it. But this back and forth, however arbitrary it may seem, was littered with conspicuous and not-so-conspicuous hints.

There’s lots to unpack, but let’s start small.As the discussion around “Hey Stephen” continues to snowball, Swift muses that Colbert must have been “44 years, 179 days old” when she wrote the song. Twitter user @swiftiealyza did the math, and researched the date that was 44 years and 179 days before the interview air date (April 13 2021). The date is October 27, 1976. The year here is irrelevant, but October 27 is important because, well, that’s the same date 1989 was released in 2014.

Swift also references Colbert’s location (New York) multiple times. New York is a pivotal city in this case, as 1989 was written when Swift first moved there. The opening track is literally called “Welcome To New York”.

And the references to the city continue to pile on. She off-handedly references Law & Order, a show famously set in New York. In addition, Colbert also mentions Swift’s ‘squad’ – a group of celebrities she kept around her during the 1989 album cycle. One of those squad members was Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU, which, yes, is also set in New York.

Swift also pulls out a moodboard which is mostly just pictures of Stephen Colbert throughout his life. But the moodboard is brilliant, because it gives us visual clues we can analyse and re-analyse – and there’s plenty for us to dive into.

The very first picture in the top-left corner is one of the biggest giveaways. To the untrained eye, it’s just a young Colbert. But, if you were to Google Image search ‘Stephen Colbert 1989’, it’s one of the first images to pop up.

The next moodboard clues require a little more delving. There’s an image of a Citi Bike, the bike-sharing company that operates in New York (keep in mind that by now we know that city is key). There’s an image of what resembles a seagull, which is the bird featured on the original album art for 1989. And, outside of all the images, there are eight cut out stars and nine cut out hearts on the mood-board. Those numbers, ‘89’, don’t mean anything to anyone do they?

When Colbert points out that the moodboard is mostly pictures of him, Swift disagrees and points to a slice of pizza in the top right corner. Again, this would mean nothing to most people, but the most dedicated of Swifties will know that Taylor previewed 1989 by hosting pizza parties for fans at various homes around the world.

Oh, you thought that was it? Not quite. After much berating, Swift finally reveals who “Hey Stephen” was written about – famous novelist Stephen King. Now, while King is most known for his books It, Misery, The Shining, Carrie and Pet Sematary (the first film adaptation of which was released in 1989 by the way), Swift mentions her particular love of his short stories.

Now King has written many short stories in his life, but one that’s now piquing people’s interest is Dark Visions because, you guessed it, it was released in 1989. Beyond that, its title bears a resemblance to King’s novel The Dark Tower,which Swift says changed her life. Now, while the film adaptation of the same name came out in 2017, there’s another horror film titled Dark Tower, that bears no relation to King. And what year did it come out?

And, I guess, if we step back and look at some of the more basic clues, Swift straight up says both 1989 and “Shake It Off”’ at different points of the interview.

And then, of course, Colbert basically confirmed some fan theories by telling one fan that they weren’t “over analysing” at all.

So yeah, long story short, 1989 is next. We’re sure of it.

When we’ll get the album is still up for debate. Throughout the interview, Swift rattled off a bunch of numbers – an address, several years, and the beginning of Colbert’s “social security” number. Fans have put their math hats on, and equated a list of potential key dates.

May 13th, May 14th, June 8th, June 25th, August 6th and August 20th are all dates that fans reckon Swift teased.

Until then… we’ll just have to busy ourselves by streaming “Mr. Perfectly Fine”.

This is an opinion piece written by Jackson Langford, music contributor at MTV Australia. Hot takes at @jacksonlangford and hotter pics at @jacksonlangford.

More Taylor Swift stuff:

Every Taylor Swift ‘From The Vault’ Song, Ranked

Sibling Rivalry: Is folklore Or evermore The Better Album?

All The Questions We Have For Taylor Swift While She Rerecords Her Old Albums 

Latest News