With Monday’s but a flickering memory, another star has reemerged to unite (or blind) us all.

The dawn of Taylor Swift’s next era is upon us, as she just announced her highly anticipated sixth album Reputation is out Nov. 10. The headline-making singer shared that the first single is due Thursday night, along with what appears to be the album’s cover art. 

 

 

Taylor began what’s sure to be a prolonged album rollout last Friday, when all of her social media accounts were of all prior posts, profile pictures and cover photos, leading many fans to speculate that new music is imminent. (That it happened on Aug. 18, exactly  she released Shake It Off and announced 1989, only fueled people’s excitement). Sure enough, Taylor to social media Monday with a 10-second silent video of an animated snake, which she followed with slightly longer, more vivid clips Tuesday and Wednesday, . 

The plot thickened Monday when the website appeared online, bearing only the words “Timeless Coming Soon.” Eagle-eyed fans noticed on that a new song titled Timeless was apparently registered under Taylor’s name with ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), reinforcing the belief that it is indeed the name of her first TS6 single. 

Taylor’s latest string of Instagram posts do not share the single’s title nor do they provide a specific time for its release Thursday night. Some suspect the song’s release will be accompanied by a music video à la Shake It Off, while others allege that she will actually premiere the video at , hosted by her longtime rival (and purveyor of in recent pop history) Katy Perry. 

Adding slight intrigue to the latter theory, Katy released a teaser over the weekend for her basketball-themed music video Swish Swish, which many have taken to be a track at Taylor. She captioned the clip “COUNTDOWN TO CATASTROPHE” — the name of in her video for Bad Blood, an alleged Katy smackdown. Is your head spinning yet? Yeah, ours are, too. But for both their sakes, let’s hope this all isn’t just leading to a publicity stunt for a skirmish that everyone stopped caring about two years ago. 

Instead, we’re more interested in the meaning of the snake in Taylor’s teaser clips and Reputation‘s cover art and title.

As we’ll dutifully recount for you here, country’s former It girl is embroiled once again in , after he explicitly claimed in his song Famous that he’s the reason she’s successful. Taylor released a statement saying that she never approved those lyrics, only for Kim Kardashian West to show the receipts last summer by releasing alleged video of Kanye’s phone call with Taylor, in which she appears to give him the OK to call her a derogatory term in the song. Backlash against Taylor swiftly intensified, as people flooded her Instagram comments , in an apparent nod to her seeming conniving and deceitful. 

Then there’s the media’s intense scrutiny of her high-profile relationships with celebrities such as Calvin Harris, John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal, and her unashamed writing about her exes in her songs. The backlash reached a fever pitch thanks her her three-month romance with Tom Hiddleston last summer, which was ruthlessly mocked on social media when he was photographed at her celebrity-studded Fourth of July bash wearing an “I Heart T.S.” tank.

After mostly ducking out of the public eye for the past year, the title Reputation and on-the-nose newspaper clippings and headlines reading “Taylor Swift” on its cover suggest that the 10-Grammy winner could be coming back with her boldest statement to the haters yet. 

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