Saudi Arabian Swifties get Together for a Listening Party.

Saudi Arabian Swifties get Together for a Listening Party.

ALKHOBAR: On the eve of the release of Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated double album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” Swifties from the Eastern Province gathered to listen to the album while taking in views of the city and the dazzling neon lights that danced in the night sky.

Riyadh held its own listening party in Level Up while the album began playing in Alkhobar’s Trip Lounge, while Jeddah’s Swifties tuned in from Makan.

Zamzam and Hashem, who work hard during the day, release music independently. The lead singer of the indie/folk band Zamzam and Hashem, a dentist, released a new song titled “The Great Divide” earlier this month. Zamzam frequently performs locally at venues like Bohemia.

Before hosting Taylor Swift Nights, neither host listened to the album released earlier in the day. They refer to themselves as Swifties, as the singer’s admirers are called, and they have studied Swift’s record with an artist’s care. Swift’s latest release is a chaotic but self-aware collection of 31 songs which all sound like signature Swift, while still offering a new sonic collage of stories made of playful, petty and witty narratives. Almost every song had a lyric, or a few, which made fans groan or applaud in unison.

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