A friend sent me an invite recently. It was for an event at a local brewery, held to celebrate the release of Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights. I told her it sounded fun, but that I tend to think of Taylor Swift album releases as solitary experiences; that I’d already blocked off the entire weekend for walks by myself around the lakes, listening on repeat. This was partially an exaggeration but mostly the truth. And, for the record, I am perfectly okay with this plan.

Her invite, and my subsequent response, got me thinking.

There’s something magical about the first time (and the second, and the third) listening to an album from an artist you love all the way through—noticing the songs that pull you in most, some for obvious reasons and others for those you can’t quite put your finger on yet. In that spirit, I decided to dream up a number of ideas for how one could experience their first listen to an album. The ideas I’m sharing today can, of course, apply to any album of your choosing, from any artist who particularly resonates with you. In today’s post, for the sake of timeliness, we’re discussing Taylor Swift’s Midnights album.

There’s something magical about the first time (and the second, and the third) listening to an album from an artist you love all the way through—noticing the songs that pull you in most, some for obvious reasons and others for those you can’t quite put your finger on yet.

Given its very premise—”A collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams”—this album in particular seems promised to be a doozy of the emotional variety. This, in my personal opinion, makes it a ripe opportunity to enjoy your first listen with even more intention—in whatever way speaks to you most.

Here are nineteen ways to experience Taylor Swift’s Midnights album (which drops tonight at, well, midnight):

  1. While walking around a lake (Ideally a somewhat populated one since you will be wearing headphones and want to feel safe!)
  2. While walking next to an ocean
  3. While enjoying the presence of any open body of water, really
  4. While driving along autumn-hued, tree-lined roads
  5. While dancing in your kitchen, alone or otherwise
  6. While swaying in a hammock under an open sky
  7. Saddled up to a bar with a glass of wine (or your beverage of choice), in the comfort of crowded solitude
  8. With your headphones on while you wash the dishes, with your kids frolicking in the background (because not all listens will be free from interruption!)
  9. During pockets of a mostly uneventful workday
  10. While sitting on your patio, or your balcony, or your porch, or your deck (and so on), looking out at the world beyond
  11. At a listening party, surrounded by friends and/or strangers, with the music on full blast
  12. On an airplane (should you have plans to be on an airplane), with minimal distractions to pull your attention away
  13. While taking a bath or while taking a shower
  14. While watching the sunrise
  15. Or, perhaps, while watching the sunset
  16. While baking cookies or while baking truly anything (this feels appropriate, yes?)
  17. From a human-sized indent in a large pile of leaves in your yard or a nearby park
  18. One song at a time, as time allows, over the course of a week or weeks
  19. At the very stroke of midnight, tucked comfortably into your bed, until you drift off to sleep

What’s your own personal listening method of choice?





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