Prevailing fan theories point to the arrival of new Swift songs - or potentially an entirely new album - with the clock’s appearance in Times Square, Instagram and Twitter bios likewise pointing to an April 26 release date. As well as the date's consecutive appearance on her latest Instagram photos of a diamond-encrusted heart and sequin manicure:
And while the aforementioned evidence might appear circumstantial, Swift fans have actually done serious homework here. As Billboard points out, a February 24 Instagram post featured 7 palm tree emojis (potentially representing the seventh album), while the photo itself featured precisely 61 stars. And what date lies exactly 61 days from February 24?
You guessed it. April 26. Boom.
Taylor's most recent studio album Reputation dropped in November 2017. Since then she's dissolved her record deal with Big Machine records and signed a landmark new multi-album deal with Universal Music Group.
The Getaway Car crooner hasn’t offered any explanation, but back in an interview with Elle, she did profess her love of countdowns and how she used them to mark major milestones. There's also a precedent for Taylor to use social media to tease major news - the giant snake which dominated her accounts before the launch of Reputation for one.
Just last month she hyped up her return to the red carpet by posting a series of butterfly related photos before arriving at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in a sequin gown and butterfly Sophia Webster heels. There are also other clues in her choice of aesthetic. The sequined ensemble has the same vibe as the cloudy backdrop behind her clock, the diamond encrusted heart, and the manicure that she posted to Instagram. She's shed her snakeskin and ready for the butterfly to emerge.
Swift told Perez Hilton that she intended to release an album before she turned 30, so the timing checks out there, too. We'll all have to wait until April 24 to see what's really happening, but knowing Swift, there should be more clues as the date draws closer. Watch this space!