Taylor Swift shared a video on her social accounts Friday captioned “The making of Midnights,” referring to the title of her upcoming album. The clip splices together footage from various recording sessions, mostly closeups of Swift in the studio. One of them shows her bouncing along with Jack Antonoff, confirming that he’s involved in the album — no surprise there considering Antonoff has worked on every LP she’s released since 1989 way back in 2015. The more interesting aspect of the teaser is its soundtrack.
The video is set to a song called “Life You Lead” by an artist called Niceboy Ed. Its sound is in line with recent Swift collaborators like Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner — one of those celestial piano ballad situations, with a vaguely choral male lead vocal singing, “It’s just the life you lead/ But it’s yours/ But it’s yours.” On Twitter, a fan account dedicated to Swift’s boyfriend Joe Alwyn claims“this guy Ed is one of Joe’s close friends and he released his first song.” But that’s an unsubstantiated claim, and both Swift and Alwyn have a history of using pseudonyms. Swift famously cowrote Rihanna’s “This Is What You Came For” under the name Nils Sjoberg. Alwyn cowrote two songs on folklore and three on evermore using the alias William Bowery. And Niceboy Ed’s online presence did not exist before Friday.
A TikTok account with the username @TheThrifySwifty posted a video examining Swift and Alwyn’s suspicious activity around Niceboy Ed online. Alwyn was one of Niceboy’s 700 Instagram followers yesterday, and he follows many of the accounts Niceboy reposted supporting his music. Swift liked every TikTok video she could find that used “Life You Lead” as its soundtrack. The blonde baby boy in the “Life You Lead” cover art could be Joe Alwyn. The TikTok sleuth speculates that Niceboy Ed could be Alwyn, or that this version of “Life You Lead” could be a cover of a new Taylor Swift song from Midnight. Our own Scott Lapatine wonders if the voice you’re hearing on the Niceboy Ed track belongs to Marcus Mumford, but that’s just a wild guess.
The couple is certainly going out of their way to spotlight the song. I’m sure all will be revealed soon enough; Midnights is out 10/21.
@thethriftyswiftie @niceboy_ed @taylorswift @taylornation @jackantonoff hmmmm… weird… 🤔 #swifttok #tay#taylorswift#swifttok#taylornation#swiftietiktok#swifttoker#swifttoks#swiftliketaylorlorswiftlover #mid#midnights#taylorswiftmidnights#midnightstaylorswift#ts10#taylorswift10#midnightstaylorswift#MeetMeAtMidnight#TSmidnighTS#iwantyourmidnightsnightnoheadlights #niceboyed #nilssjoberg #jackleopardsandthedolphinclub #jackantonoff #williambowery #lifeyoulead #greenscreen ♬ life you lead – niceboy ed