By Raisa Bruner
March 15, 2019

Hold tight, Swifties: Taylor Swift says you’ll be the “first to know” when she has new music to release, but that’s not happening yet.

At the iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 14 in Los Angeles, Swift took to the stage to accept an award — and hinted at her plans.

“I love your passion, I love your attention to detail, I love how much you care. I love seeing all the things you’re posting online,” she said of her fans. “I just wanted to let you know that when there is new music, you will be the first to know.”

This comment follows a period of dedicated speculation from fans after Swift began increasing her Instagram activity, sharing a series of color-saturated, cryptic posts of herself starting off with a palm tree landscape. Despite the fact that nothing was officially confirmed, that didn’t stop fans from surmising that the pop star’s seventh album must be imminent, marking about a year and a half since the release of blockbuster Reputation.

When is Taylor Swift’s 7th album release date?

Swift’s seventh album release date is still a definite mystery. In the past, her first singles have been released a few months before the full album comes out, with other singles dropping in the interim. But we’re still waiting on a single for now.

Some fans had been speculating that Swift has already kicked off an album release countdown, based on Instagram clues. This theory kicked into high gear for a week back in February, when she shared a photo that featured seven palm trees, captioned with seven palm tree emojis. The next day, she shared a picture of herself reclining on the sixth (visible) step of a staircase. One day later, it was Swift’s face seen through the center of five fence slats. With this theory in mind, day zero on the countdown clock would have been March 2.

But instead of an album, Swift ended up appearing on the covers of Elle U.K. and Elle magazines and continuing her increased Instagram activity.

What will Taylor Swift’s new album be called?

Right now, we have no idea. Fans have been calling it “TS7” for short, because it will be her seventh project. When she posted that Instagram photo with seven palm trees — and captioned it with seven more palm tree emojis — some fans quickly took that for a hint that TS7 was on its way, as Swift is known for including hidden messages in her visual work. (Especially numerical messages, famously incorporating the number 13 in her mythology.)

After the iHeartRadio Awards, however, there’s now some hype around the idea that butterflies or rainbows will play a role in the next era, thanks to her most recent fashion choices and Instagram photos.

What was Taylor Swift’s last album?

Swift’s last release in November 2017, the triple-platinum Reputation, was her sixth album, featuring buzzy singles “Look What You Made Me Do,” “…Ready For It?,” “End Game,” “Gorgeous” and “Delicate.” The album performed well commercially with blockbuster album sales, became Swift’s fifth top-charting album on Billboard and received plenty of generally positive reviews.

What else has Taylor Swift been working on?

After finishing the Reputation tour in November 2018, Swift released a concert documentary on Netflix on New Year’s Eve. Back in November, she also announced that she had made a significant business move, switching to a new record label and negotiating a deal to own her master recordings while ensuring distribution of any Spotify share sales to artists.

Since then, she’s been spending time filming the movie adaptation of Cats in London. She also popped up in Los Angeles during Oscars week in February, there to support her boyfriend of two years, Joe Alwyn. (He’s an actor who was featured in the film The Favourite alongside Best Actress winner Olivia Colman, and Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.)

When does Taylor Swift normally release albums?

For her first five albums, Swift stuck to a pretty consistent output schedule of putting out a project every other year in the autumn, starting with her self-titled debut in October 2006. For Reputation, fans had to wait a whole extra year before it became available; the first single dropped in August 2017, with the rest of the album following that fall. That positions this new release as an anomaly in her discography so far, coming as it does in midwinter.

How can I listen to Taylor Swift’s new music when it’s here?

In the past, Swift has been vocal about keeping her music off of streaming platforms to protect her artwork at the time. In 2014, she pulled her music from the iTunes, telling TIME in an interview, “I think there should be an inherent value placed on art. I didn’t see that happening, perception-wise, when I put my music on Spotify.” (She then made her catalog available in the summer.) And that position has evolved since then; Reputation became available on Spotify about three weeks after its release.

Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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