After nearly two weeks of Instagram posts captioned "4.26" Taylor Swift finally revealed to fans what the messages meant on Thursday. The pop star released a brand new song titled "ME!" and accompanying music video at midnight ET.
The song features Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie, Swift first revealed to Robin Roberts of "Good Morning America" during the first round of the NFL Draft in Nashville. The tune and video is a clear departure from her "Reputation" era. The video opens with a snake, similar to those heavily featured in the 2017 album, hissing at the viewer. But, just as it is about to strike, the snake bursts into colorful butterflies that lead the watcher into a home with Urie and Swift.
The duo begins by speaking in French and have an "argument," which results in Swift storming out of their apartment. Then, the bubblegum music begins, as various fantastical scenes play. Swift is seen walking through clouds, wearing a pink waterfall-like dress while sitting atop a giant unicorn-shaped gargoyle and dancing on a floating platform among what can only be described as the inside of a kaleidoscope.
Eventually, the couple makes up and walks off screen together as what appears to be magic rainbow paint falls.
Before the track's release, Roberts asked Swift what she would say to her fans who have been waiting for the big surprise and the singer offered a humble reply.
"Thank you so much for caring about music that I make," said Swift. "Like, I'm here tonight and I'm seeing these people who've worked their whole lives to achieve their dreams in this city." She continued by thanking Roberts for interviewing her early on in her career.
"You gave me a shot when I was 14 years old, interviewed me when no one else was watching and now I'm getting to play in the stadium down the road, last summer. Like, thank you for everything. I'm just very grateful."
The star revealed she would be speaking to Roberts earlier Thursday, after pulling off another big surprise for fans. Swift showed up at a new butterfly mural in Nashville, painted by artist Kelsey Montague. The musician posted a series of Instagram stories prior to her arrival, telling fans she was on her way — and revealing she had the artwork painted.
"Okay so we've commissioned this butterfly mural to be painted on a wall in Nashville and put clues about the song and the new music in the mural, so I'm gonna go show up," she said in another clip.
Throngs of fans were at the wall when she arrived, which featured the name of the new song "ME!" written in between the butterfly's wings. She posted an image of herself with the butterfly mural, with a caption thanking fans and tipping them off to her chat with Roberts later.
"Thank you to everyone who showed up, I've never been more proud of your FBI level detective skills," the star wrote. "Next clue: I'll be joining the magnificent @robinrobertsgma for a chat tonight on ABC live from Nashville 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕"
The song's music video premiered on Youtube at midnight. Swift revealed earlier on Instagram she would be watching the video live with fans and answer some of their questions in the post.
The star has been posting butterfly emojis and pastel-filtered photos on her Instagram for weeks, prompting fans to speculate about new music. The Grammy winner's last album "Reputation" was released in 2017 and finished up her tour last November.
Listen to the full song below: