Taylor Swift Drops Delicate New Song ‘The Archer,’ Shares Lover Album Details

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What a day to be Taylor Swift! After scoring 10 VMA nominations on Tuesday (July 23) — which puts her at the top of the list, tied with Ariana Grande — the “ME!” singer went live on Instagram in the afternoon to reveal that her new song, “The Archer,” is here.

“There’s a vast part of this album that I worked with Jack Antonoff on,” she said, naming the trusted collaborator who produced a handful of reputation and 1989 tracks. “I wanted to show you a song that we had done together. The song is called ‘The Archer’ and I really hope you like it.”

The song showed up on streaming services just minutes later, and it’s a vulnerable, emotional offering that reflects on past relationships and expresses her need to “hold on” to her current one. “I’ve been the archer / I’ve been the prey / Who could ever leave me, darling / But who could stay?” Swift asks on the chorus over a driving beat and minimalist production.

In true Swift fashion, an Easter Egg hinting at “The Archer” popped up a few weeks back, in her star-studded “You Need to Calm Down” video. In it, Hayley Kiyoko shoots an arrow at a target with the number 5 on it, and “The Archer” is, in fact, the fifth track on her upcoming seventh album, Lover. That number has some special standing within the Swiftie world — her No. 5 tracks are traditionally earmarked as songs that are deeply personal, and Swift acknowledged that fact during her live stream.

“Track 5 is kind of a tradition that really started with you guys. I don’t know why, but instinctively, I was just putting a very vulnerable, personal, honest, emotional song as track five,” she said, referencing fan-favorites like “All Too Well” and “Delicate.”

That tradition, she said, continues with “The Archer,” which sounds like it’ll be one of the more intimate offerings from Lover — she said it shows “a glimpse into another side of the album” that previously released singles “ME!” and “Calm Down” didn’t cover. She was quick to add, though, that “The Archer” is not an official single, and she hasn’t shot a music video for it. (Instead, Swift revealed at the tail end of her stream that she was filming from the set of another video, which we’ll hopefully get to see soon!)

To celebrate Lover‘s impending arrival in exactly one month (August 23), Swift also used her live stream to give fans a peek at the four deluxe editions of the album, which will honor Swift’s 13th year of making music. Each deluxe edition will include journal entries from Swift’s stacks of diaries that she’s been keeping since she was 13 years old.

While we wait patiently for Lover, see all of Swift’s VMA nominations here!

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