Having not released a second of “Midnights” music or video footage before this album was released four nights ago, Taylor Swift is making up for lost time. She released the album’s second one-song clip just days after the first, with “Bejeweled” hitting the Swift-isphere on the heels of “Anti-Hero” on the hits of 12 (ET) Monday night. Watch the full clip, which features Laura Dern, Dita von Teese and the three Haim sisters, below.
It’s a Cinderella story, though a prince – played briefly by producer/writer Jack Antonoff – features even more briefly than in most versions of the fairy tale. Swift plays “House Wench Taylor,” which first appears as she cleans up the “Lady Este” (Este Haim) vomit left behind after going out drunk the night before. “Stepmommy” (Dern) and Ladies Alana and Danielle oppose the ailing star even more brutally than in the Disney versions – it’s unclear what Uncle Walt would have thought of the promise of “tassel nipples in diamond” – before Swift transforms into a starfield made of diamonds. She then ghosts the barely glimpsed Antonoff, perhaps to better return to the giant cocktail glasses in which she frolics with “Fairy Goddess” von Teese. Pat McGrath, one of the world’s most famous makeup artists, also makes an appearance.
Discussing the video on “The Tonight Show,” which aired on the East Coast around the same time the video was released on YouTube, Swift told Jimmy Fallon that there was “a psychotic amount” of eggs from Easter integrated into the visuals. “We have a PDF for the Easter Eggs in this video because there are so many that we couldn’t keep up.”
Unlike “Anti-Hero,” “Bejeweled,” as a song, is about self-confidence, almost like the first single’s much-vaunted self-erasing counter-programming act. It’s a breakup song, or at least a breakup song, but also the most bubbly number on the album, closer to the shining heights of a “Lover” track like “Me” or “You Need to Calm Down” than any other track on “Midnights”. Of all his songs about difficult relationships, this is one of the least disturbing. The message: She is delighted to leave you.
But that lyrical content has little to do with the music video, where Swift finds something even more charming than a prince: a chance to tie into a story centered around her running theme of the stroke of midnight. .
A development fans had hoped for with Swift’s “Tonight Show” appearance didn’t quite pan out. Swifties had hoped she’d announce her 2023 tour, but she only admitted she’d like to do one… which may or may not be a code to get everything locked and loaded. Either way, Swifties who will have to wait a little longer for tour details can keep busy until 3am or later collecting freshly laid eggs.
A clue to future plans that doesn’t even seem particularly subtle: a strong hint in the video that “Speak Now” will be the next re-recording of “Taylor’s Version” to be released. In the clip, Swift presses a purple elevator button for the third floor — and she wore a purple dress on the cover of “Speak Now,” her third album. Less popular as a theory, but not completely unviable, is the more remote possibility that the color/number combo could simply mean that “Lavender Haze” will be the third single or video from the new album.
The “Bejeweled” video and Fallon’s visit capped a day in which news broke that “Midnights” had already collected over a million album-equivalent units, the first album to do so in one. week since Swift’s “Reputation” in 2017. Luminate reported that the album stood at around 1.2 million units after just three days, with nearly half a million copies sold on vinyl.
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