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A Swift Taste Of Vaporwave

Originally Printed as part of the December 2022 Issue Of The Jaguar Journal
A Swift Taste Of Vaporwave

At midnight on October 21, 2022 the aptly titled Midnight’s by Taylor Swift was released to tens of millions of listeners and immediately was met with praise from both Taylor’s fan’s and the entire music industry as a whole, and is one of her best records to date. The record is a far cry from the country pop origins of Taylor’s music, bringing in influences and tropes from the occasionally popular Vapor Wave genre. The genre is defined by its manipulation of pop culture themes and bending them into an almost dream-like state where all the vocals are just slightly distorted. The influences of the Vapor wave start strong with the very first song, Lavender Haze.

Lavender Haze, opens slowly and calmly, instead of taking a headfirst dive into the Vapor Wave aspects of the album, the listener is given a calm and swift taste of Vapor Wave. With a song that is more akin to the standard works of Taylor Swift it’s Vapor Wave features are miniscule in comparison to those located throughout the rest of the album. “I just wanna stay in that lavender haze” It’s a slow and steady start that establishes a good platform for the rest of the songs to build on, it also makes it evident that midnights is unlike any Taylor Swift Album we have heard before.

Anti-Hero is the third track on the record, and by far the most popular song on the album. However the song lacks some of the typical Vapor Wave Influences present in the songs which precede, and succeed it. While the song says many things, it primarily focuses on the feeling that the narrator (Taylor) is the antagonist to her, and everyone around her, stories. The song’s music video takes an almost 2 minute break for a comedy sketch where her entire family damns her as she cuts them all out of her will. The song is currently holding the number 1 spot on the musical top charts and it is well deserved, the song is one of the best examples of how the new album perfected a blend of country, pop, and vapor wave all brought together by Taylor Swift.

Midnight Rain, the sixth track on the record, is a stand out for the vapor wave aspects which make up the album. The vapor wave pop aspects of the album take center stage with drawn out support vocals from Taylor. Taylor makes excellent use of the sharp synth spikes which ‘stab’ into the listener and then are healed by the smoothness of Taylors vocals, this is then flipped on its head with the support vocals which use the synth to smooth out the vocals’ abrasiveness. “All of me changed like midnight”The sharp spikes of synth are hallmarks of vapor wave as a genre but Taylors twist upon it is her vocals which draw in the listener. While the country influences are lacking in this song, its focus upon vapor wave easily counteracts it by creating a sound unique to this album.

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