Taylor Swift drops cryptic ‘Red’ video, unscrambling chaos ensues

Swifties, it’s been a puzzling day.

Taylor Swift fans knew the game all too well on Thursday, as the Grammy-winning pop monarch dropped a cryptic word salad video before lunch on Thursday, prompting a furious scramble to unscramble it all.

As her fans are well known for their Bletchley Park-level code-cracking talents, Swift knew exactly what level of chaos the post would trigger, even writing in her tweet to acknowledge the “casually cruel” level of puzzlement before hitting send.

It’s the same format Swift used to tease her re-release of her her 2008 debut Fearless in April, which was ranked “Expert,” in its Twitter video, in which she wished fans, “Happy decoding!” This time, the video featured falling leaves and scrambled words being spewed from a vault, all set to what appears to be a Swift track played backwards.

Seriously, there are no sleuths like Taylor Swift fans, and instantly, the Swifties dug out their pens and paper to get to work.

Big obvious start? The whole video is a shade of burning red, an overt reference to the next chapter in Swift’s ambitious quest to revisit, re-record, and re-release her back catalogue and flip the damn bird to Scooter Braun. The first redo was Fearless in April. In June, Swift announced that her next album re-release, out Nov. 19, will be 2012’s Red, which Mashable’s Erin Strecker described as “the perfect fall album.”

The leaves in the video, people! The leeeeeaves.


Taylor Swift’s ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ lyric videos, ranked

Immediately, many figured out the scrambled words thrown mercilessly about by Swift’s animated vault formed a 13 x 13 wordsearch puzzle.

Then, everyone started highlighting names and song titles like there was no tomorrow. Some found the words “All Too Well Ten Minute Version,” a pretty strong confirmation of something we already knew coming from Swift herself. Fans also noticed that there are little scarf emojis next to the Twitter hashtags for this too, likely referencing the beloved lyric from “All Too Well” — “And I left my scarf there at your sister’s house / And you’ve still got it in your drawer even now.”🧣

Many picked up on possible featured artist names like Phoebe Bridgers and Chris Stapleton, who would be new collaborations for Red (Taylor’s Version), and old friends like Ed Sheeran, whose duet “Everything Has Changed,” appeared on the original album.

Swift’s Fearless re-release included redos of all original tracks alongside some new material in an ongoing rarities series she’s calling “From the Vault,” so considering the imagery in this video, we can expect some newbies.

We’ll get an official announcement, most likely on Swift’s social media, of the official track list, but until then, it’s just marvelous to see the Swifities work hard to unpack the diabolical riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma that is a Taylor Swift album announcement.

So, on a Thursday, not necessarily in a café, we watched it begin again. And I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling…like I’ll let these epic fans work it out for us.

UPDATE: Aug. 6, 2021, 3:09 p.m. BST Taylor Swift has put us all out our misery and released the tracklist and featured artists for Red (Taylor’s Version). Well done, code-breakers! Nailed it.

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