Everything you need to throw the perfect ‘Midnights’ release party

Oct. 20, 2022, 9:02 p.m.

Picture this: it’s midnight. Or, midnight EST. You’re in a dorm, celebrating the most anticipated album of the year with all your loved ones. If you’re reading this article, you probably know what we’re referring to. This Friday at midnight (again, Thursday 9 p.m. PST), Taylor Swift’s newest album “Midnights” debuts. 

Let the album parties begin.

We know you’ve got them all planned, but what are you supposed to do? Just talk to your friends as though you didn’t spend your whole adolescence crying to “White Horse”? No!

We’ve got your back so you can spend less time being social with your friends and more time focusing on the Queen of Pop, Country, and Indie (but not trap — sorry, “End Game”).

The Game

First order of business: activities.

We simply call the activity in question “The Game.” If you want to be more specific, you can call it The Taylor Swift Game.

The Game is simple. It hinges on recognizing a Taylor Swift song as quickly as possible. One player picks the song, and the other player has to guess it as quickly as possible, before the title of the song is revealed.

You get one point added to your score every second it takes you to guess (like in golf, points are bad in this game) and twenty points for every wrong guess you make. If you can’t guess the song before Taylor says the title, you get 100 points added to your score.

Pro tip: if you don’t want to infuriate your friends, avoid songs where the title is the first thing said, like “Gorgeous,” “Hey Stephen,” “Dorothea” or lesser known songs that take most of the song to get to the title, like “State of Grace” (over 3 minutes!). 

If you know your friends’ weaknesses, exploit them and play their least favorite album. They’ll scream when they try to remember whether it’s the intro to “Stay Beautiful” or “Never Grow Up,” or why you can’t recognize a song that sounds like it’s from “Reputation” but turns out to be “I Know Places.” The current score with one friend of mine: Sam 2729, Isabella 2776. Yeah. It’s cutthroat.

The Costumes

How are you going to dress up? You could all cosplay as your favorite era and reenact the “Look What You Made Me Do” music video. Chunky cardigans meet red lipstick meet sparkly eyeshadow. 

Or you could dress as your favorite Swiftie detail: the “All Too Well” scarf, the Kanye interruption, the animal outfits from “We Are Never Getting Back Together” or the pickup truck from “Picture to Burn” … the list goes on. It’s truly an endless list of iconic moments. 

The Snacks

(Warning: if you don’t like puns, skip this section. It’s literally all puns.)

You want to start your album party with some appetizers. We’d recommend some “invisible string cheese” alongside some “We Are Never Ever Getting Snack Fruit Leather,” but if you can swing by late night, be sure to grab some “Eating With Our Mozz Fried.”  

But the real appeal of the Midnights album party is the meat selection. “Rack to Rib-cember,” “You ‘Footlong’ With Meats,” “I’m Only Meat When I’m in ‘Stew’” and “Satay Satay Satay.” Oh, and on the side, don’t forget “This is Why We Can’t Have ‘Spice’ Wings.”

To finish off with some sweet things, prepare some “Milk ‘Shake It Off,’” “A Perfectly Good ‘Tart’” and “Dear ‘Flan.’” Chase it down with your ENABs: “no bubbly, no wine.”

By the end of the night, you may be saying “I Ate Something Bad,” but if there’s one thing I’d tell you, it’d be “Never Throw Up.”   

The Music

Before 9 p.m., be sure to put together a small playlist of Taylor Swift’s top hits for your early arrivals. If you’re thinking about hosting a “Midnights” release party, you probably don’t need us to tell you which songs to listen to. In fact, you probably have your own unreasonably strong opinions about which songs deserve a place on her best hits. 

Don’t worry — there’s no judgment here when it comes to Taylor Swift song opinions. Unless your opinions mean that “Picture to Burn” won’t be on your party playlist. In that case, you probably shouldn’t be holding a Taylor Swift party in the first place. 

In all seriousness, the only thing you really need to keep in mind is making sure there’s a good balance between all her eras. You never know what eras are your friends’ favorites. There could be a secret “Lover” stan at your party. In the seat next to you. Writing this very article. Clearly, keeping the playlist varied will keep your diverse group of Swifties satisfied. 

Finally, you can’t forget to play the album. Bring in your biggest speaker and sit in shock while the tunes and emotions wash over you when the clock strikes midnight.

Isabella Saracco '23 is a staff writer and columnist for The Stanford Daily. She loves Chicago, deep-dish pizza and cats.

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