It’s here and finally happening – Taylor Swift just unleashed her seventh studio record, Lover, into the world. After months of speculation, intense investigation by her diehard Swifties, and a drip feed of clues, tidbits, sneak peeks and singles, we’ve finally got our grubby little mitts on her latest offering.

The “heart-shaped record”, recorded earlier this year in Electric Lady Studios in New York and co-produced by Taylor, Joel Little and Jack AntonoffLover clocks in at a solid hour and a bit, which means if you play your cards right you can listen to the whole thing around eight times in a work day.

It’s been a whole two years since Taylor released Reputation in 2017, and with a few lead-in singles – ‘Me!‘ featuring Brendon Urie, ‘You Need To Calm Down‘, ‘The Archer‘, and ‘Lover‘ – it’s high time that she blessed her devout fanbase with another full-length.

She dropped the video for ‘Lover‘ overnight, which follows a very loved-up Swift and sent the rumour mill into overdrive as fans try and decode every single second.

Coming in at a huge 18 tracks, which is the most she’s laid down on an album, she said recently in a YouTube Live video that it has a very summery sound to it all – pretty perfect considering Australia’s on the upswing towards the warmer months.

“This album felt aesthetically very daytime, very sunlit fields,” she said.

“I really just pictured this and wrote music from a perspective of a much, more open, just free romantic, whimsical place.”

Listening through, there are definitely select tracks that travel back down to the country-tinged singer-songwriter vibe that first introduced us to the Taylor Swift universe.

It’s a smart play from the highly-calculated artist, especially after Lil Nas X‘s country-trap bop ‘Old Town Road‘ just spent a squillion years at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

That’s not to say that she’s not experimenting with her sound though. The pop banger ‘Cruel Summer‘ (which was co-written by St. Vincent) has Taylor working through the idea that summer isn’t all long days sipping cocktails by the beach – it also gives us warm nights that provide space for chaos and mischief.

Leaning into the good-girl-gone-bad aesthetic of Reputation, we’re reminded that Taylor Swift is an adult who can absolutely send it if and when she feels the need.

Plus slow bop ‘False God‘ has a saxophone fill on it! I’m so into this.

St. Vincent and Brendon Urie (of Panic! At The Disco fame) are not the only big names to work on the record, either. ‘Soon You’ll Get Better‘ features everyone’s favourite yee-haw aunt trio, the Dixie Chicks, further proving that country is well and truly in the mainstream pop echelon now, folks.

Clock out for the rest of the afternoon and chuck your headphones in (or better yet, gain control of the nearest speakers) because Taylor Swift is BACK and she’ll be fighting hard to land a Grammy nom with this one, let me tell you.

Image: Getty Images / Kevin Mazur