Taylor Swift debuted an aggressive new era with her new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” on Thursday night. The music video for the song, released Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards, makes it very clear: this is a very different Swift we’re dealing with.
In the video, she rises from the dead, quite literally, as a zombiefied version of the pop star crawls from the grave. It then gets much more glamorous, as Swift bathes in a tub of diamonds before cutting to a shot of her on a golden throne, snakes popping up behind her.
Swift ended the video with a bit that included every iteration of herself — from her innocent first album to her infamous 2009 VMAs appearance (where Kanye West interrupted her win to talk up Beyonce) to her new, edgy self.
“There she goes, playing the victim, again,” snarks one Swift, likely playing on media criticism of herself. Another’s on her phone, “getting receipts” — probably a play on the video in which Kim Kardashian “exposed” her controversial phone call with West.
“I would very much like to be exluded from this narrative,” says 2009 VMAs Swift, before the rest yell at her, “Shut up!”
Despite some mixed reviews, “Look What You Made Me Do” has already broken records in the few days since its release. Since being unveiled at 11:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, it had raked up 184,589 download sales by Saturday afternoon, according to numbers from BuzzAngle Music. On Sunday afternoon, its first-day audio streams were at 3,048,667 out of 4.6 million total U.S. audio streams for all Swift songs.
Meanwhile, the lyric video, released in tandem with the single’s debut on Thursday night, broke the record for the most-watched lyric video within 24 hours. So far, it’s already amassed more than 37 million views.
Sunday caps off a massive week for the megastar after about a year out of the public eye. Last Friday, she wiped clean her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. She then teased her new single with short, cryptic videos of a snake on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on Twitter, leading up to the release of “Look What You Made Me Do” on Thursday. On Friday, she previewed the music video on “Good Morning America.”
Katy Perry hosts the 2017 VMAs, which are taking place at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.