After the singer posted a cryptic photo of seven palm trees on her Instagram this weekend, the Taylor Swift fandom is abuzz with theories that the singer is gearing up to announce a seventh studio album. Last night, ahead of an appearance at the Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty, Swift posted a photo of herself in a stunning sparkly dress and ponytail.
Swift added a bokeh flare effect to the photo, giving it the same aesthetic as her previous post of the palm trees. Now that we know the look of the tree photo isn’t a one-off, some fans are speculating that the visual effect signals the start of a new era for Swift.
While this might appear to be a fairly straightforward photo of Swift modeling the dress she would wear to the Oscars party, some fans are reading clues about new music into the photo. Swift is sitting on the seventh stair from the top — her follow-up to Reputation would be her seventh studio album. There are also 12 stair steps featured in the photo, which some fans are believing as a hint the album might have 12 tracks.
Others are taking her vintage-inspired aesthetic as a clue in itself. While Reputation was all black, leather, and toughness, Swift has been embracing a more feminine and relaxed look lately. The retro camera flares and California sunniness could be signaling a more Joni Mitchell-esque sound to her new music, perhaps?
Whether you’re looking for clues or taking her post at face value, there’s no denying that we’re all ready for new Taylor Swift music. Check out her Instagram post above (and formulate your own theories).