way too close reads

Okay, So Now What Is Taylor Swift’s Giant Butterfly Mural Supposed to Mean?

Taylor Swift has been dropping hints about new music with the voracity of a fictional supervillain and the obscurity of Blue from Blue’s Clues. On Thursday afternoon, a mere hours before her 13-day countdown expires at midnight, she dropped the greatest puzzle of all: She Instagrammed a butterfly mural in Nashville, which she commissioned and said she “cryptically planned for months.” Obviously, it’s coded with secret meaning. Let’s discuss.

It would be nothing short of irresponsible if I didn’t begin with the Kaylor drama. Swift has a faction of superfans called the Kaylors, which is also the “ship name” or portmanteau of her and Karlie Kloss’s names; the Kaylor shippers believe the two were romantically involved in secret. There are many theories swirling that whatever Swift has been teasing for a big 4/26 reveal will heavily allude to her relationship with Kloss. Just look at the mural.

Painted by Kelsey Montague (you’ve seen her other wing murals in every IG influencer’s photos, surely), the butterfly mural is bleeding bisexual lighting and brimming with rainbows — the official sigil of the Queers — and cats — the mascots of Lesbianism. As one Twitter user pointed out, the mural also looks impossibly similar to a giant set of rainbow butterfly wings that Karlie Kloss rocked at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret fashion show — you know, that same year she and Taylor walked the runway together. The mural also contains two ladybugs in the top-left corner — ladies, noted. *loosens tie*

You’ll notice the only word in the mural is “ME!”; it’s also the title of a photo (possible single art?) she later shared on Twitter. If Swift does in fact drop a new single or music video at midnight — which she will, as her entire Spotify discography has been painted pastel and marked by the date 4/26, and she alluded to “the song and new music” in her Instagram Story on the way to the mural — it will likely be a song about herself and her personal metamorphosis (butterflies, metamorphosis, you get it).

One Twitter user claims a video titled “ME!” (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco) has been privately uploaded to Taylor’s YouTube. The source of his screenshot hasn’t been confirmed by a third party, but he also noted that Swift and Urie are both nominated for Billboard Music Awards (the BMAs air May 1), and insinuated that a collab/performance could be in the duo’s future.

Another user responded to the thread, citing a quote from Taylor’s recent interview with Elle UK in which the singer praises Panic! at the Disco, saying Urie’s music reminds her of her youth and driving through Nashville with her best friend. Many already believe that this “next chapter” of music will be a return to Taylor’s country-pop roots, either lyrically, sonically, or both. So, if there is a collab, and the material is throwback-esque, it totally tracks. Please note Brendon Urie is openly pansexual. *sweats*

And, of course, Swift is up to her old tricks with the mural, which contains 13 hearts (13 is her lucky number) and seven stars (her upcoming album will be her seventh studio album). All of these little symbols — the stars, the hearts, the butterflies, the cats, the rainbows — have been scattered across her Instagram over the last couple months. Also, the butterfly wings are lined with giraffe print; there was a giraffe in Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” music video, which was about falling in love with someone tall. Karlie Kloss is tall like a giraffe. You do the math.

The big reveal happens tonight at midnight ET.

Taylor Swift’s Butterfly Mural: All the Clues to New Song