Taylor Swift sparks new album’s mood with ‘Lavender Haze’

Published on October 25, 2022
Taylor Swift's new album opens with "Lavender Haze," a love song all stoners can appreciate. (leonardo laschera/EyeEm/Adobe Stock)

Fall is the season of flavor, and Taylor Swift fans are eating. Or are they smoking? 

Swift released her 10th album, Midnights, on October 21. A moody, textured work, she spends it mostly looking inward, recalling lost loves, bad decisions, and the agony of change. With production spearheaded by Jack Antonoff, the album’s sonic quality is subdued, even solemn at times. In many ways, the album traces the deeply personal and internal monologues that result from a smoking sesh with oneself. 

So it’s only fitting that Swift kicks off the whole album with a song title named after Lavender Haze, a relative of classic purp that pairs well with evening ruminations and is known to evoke creativity and euphoria.

Roll up and let loose

“Lavender Haze” is a love song whose shadowy production belies the passion between the speaker and their lover. In interviews, Swift says the inspiration for the song came from watching Mad Men, the hit TV series set in the advertising world of 1950s Manhattan that explores, among many things, gender dynamics and their impact on relationships. 

“Lavender haze,” per Swift, was a phrase used in the show to convey the giddy, dazed sensation of new love—essentially the honeymoon phase. We’d be remiss not to point out the similarities between Swift’s new song and the “Purple Haze” hit from the king of psychedelic music, Jimi Hendrix.

Hendrix also compares the ecstasy and disorientation of love to puffing on his favorite strain, crooning “purple haze all around / Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down / Am I happy or in misery? / Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me.” But could Taylor really be comparing her love to a heady sesh? 

What is Lavender Haze?

Haze is an umbrella name for a family of cannabis landrace strains that largely veer towards powerful, cerebral effects that many say invoke creativity, joy, and lust. Lavender Haze is an old-school hybrid that combines the alleviation of indica Lavender with the technicolor, sativa mind trip of G-13 Haze. It doesn’t exactly make the “zaza” list and hasn’t made it into this generation’s rap songs—although Swedish metal bad Vildhjarta does have an eponymous, lyricless song. 

But of all the strains that Swift could have accidentally name-dropped, this one feels pretty on-brand. Lavender Haze has a whimsical quality, what Leafly reviewers call perfect for “daydreaming” and “groovy.” One reviewer even posted on October 11 that they’re “predicting a surge in popularity after the release of Taylor Swift’s Midnights on October 21st.” 

purple gradient
(Aurealia’s Dream/Adobe Stock)

The soft-focus high mirrors how we feel when “like” turns into “love,” as though we are perceiving the new status quo of our love lives through lavender-colored glasses. 

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A quality strain can sometimes evoke that same affection. In the song’s refrain, Swift croons “I feel the lavender haze creeping up on me/Surreal,” which speaks to the slow, “creeper” effects tied to some cannabis strains like:

  • Lava Cake: A pungent hybrid of Grape Pie and Thin Mint that will bring on the giggles and sweep you into a “magical cloud.”
  • GDP: The king of purple weed will never let you see his next move. Both your mind and body will tingle. 
  • Golden Goat: This strain will cast a golden hour upon your heart. 

Whether Swift is speaking from experience and alluding to the latent, slow-building effects of cannabis remains a bit hazy. And though the artist herself has stayed mum about her own consumption previously, more legal states means more Taylor Swift listeners with increased access to cannabis for social use. So, are we ready for the era of Swifty stoners?

I think we can agree that most of Swift’s earlier, country-inflected albums weren’t ideal for a solo smoke: Her pop era of the mid-2010s was more suited to a gym day than puffing and passing. But at 32 years old, Swift is a grown woman who’s unafraid to reflect on and accept her shortcomings. Midnight tokes come with realizations both good and bad, after all, with nowhere to hide.

Swift is not a musician/celebrity known for partying and said before (granted, a decade ago) that she didn’t smoke because of its potential impact on her lungs. Her music is also mostly devoid of smoking and weed references: A line in 2019’s Lover album mentioned “the moon is high / like your friends were the / night that we first met,” but Swift rarely blames intoxication for her personal entanglements.

9 iconic puffs from famous tokers like Doja Cat

So, sorry readers, there are no signs of a Taylor Spliff on the horizon, but that’s not a ding on the album. At 44 minutes (unless you prefer the deluxe version), your bowl, dab, or hit of Lavender Haze will carry you through the whole album as Swift bemoans karma, heartbreak, and getting out of your own way. We’ve all felt “the lavender haze creeping up on me,” but we needn’t fear it. Just as Swift remarks throughout Midnights implicitly, every experience has something to teach us.

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Amelia Williams
Amelia Williams
New York-based freelance cannabis journalist Amelia Williams is a graduate of San Francisco State University's journalism program, and a former budtender. Williams has contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle's GreenState, MG Magazine, Culture Magazine, and Cannabis Now, Kirkus Reviews, and The Bold Italic.
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