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Described by Taylor herself as “one of my favorite songs that I have ever written”, “Anti-Hero” is the scintillating lead single from Midnights, her tenth studio album. Largely serving as a parallel to 2019’s “The Archer”, the song shows a darker self-perception from Swift than usual, and goes into detail about what she feels are her personal failures.
The track’s title and track number were revealed in the sixth video of her TikTok game Midnight Mayhem With Me on October 2nd, 2022. The next day, Swift released a ‘Behind The Song’ video to discuss the meaning and purpose behind the track, saying she “struggle[s] a lot with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized”, and described the song as a “guided tour” of the things she hates about herself.
On Halloween night of 2022, the song was announced to have debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Marking her ninth number one single and fifth number one debut, “Anti-Hero” joined nine other songs from Midnights in constructing the entire top 10 – the first time ever in Billboard history.
“Anti-Hero” is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. I really don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before. I struggle with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized and I, not to sound too dark, but I just struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person. This song is a real guided tour throughout all the things I tend to hate about myself, and it’s all those aspects of the things we dislike and like about ourselves that we have to come to terms with if we are gonna be this person, so I like “Anti-Hero” a lot, because I think is really honest.