Pop icon, Taylor Swift has made it a game for her fans to track her subtle clues and Easter eggs when she plans to release new music, however she did something she has never done before by releasing an album with no promotion only 24 hours after announcing the project. Swift released her eighth full length album, Folklore, which has now become her most highly rated project and her fastest selling.
Swift has typically taken two years in between projects, however Folklore comes less than a year after her last album, Lover. While the albums are the closest in time to one another, Folklore is a drastic departure from her more upbeat and radio friendly album, Lover.
Swift announced on social media, “Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise,” she wrote. “Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into. I wrote and recorded this music in isolation.”
She continued, “Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed. My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with.”
Folklore is a much darker and moodier album without any of Swift’s typical hit singles. Folklore is more stripped back than previous projects in terms of production and is her most adventurous when it comes to lyricism. Swift has become known for her deeply personal lyrics, and while there are personal songs on the album, many of Folklore’s songs are Swift writing from the perspectives of other people.
Swift also announced the release of a music video for the song “Cardigan,” explaining that the coronavirus pandemic, altered their typical production process. “The entire shoot was overseen by a medical inspector, everyone wore masks, stayed away from each other, and I even did my own hair, makeup, and styling,” Swift said.
Longtime friend, Blake Lively, posted to social media in support of Swift’s album, “Can we all please crawl inside that piano with you and live in this album..” the actress wrote, referring to the music video for “Cardigan.”
While Swift utilized her time in quarantine to write new music, her collaborations on her album’s production took place entirely virtually. Swift worked with longtime collaborator, Jack Antonoff, a producer credited on Lana Del Rey’s critically acclaimed NFR album as well as Lorde’s Melodrama. Swift also worked with Aaron Dressner from the band, The Nationals, for the first time.
While Swift collaborates often when it comes to the production of her music, she rarely has featured artists perform with her on tracks, however on Folklore, Swift was accompanied by artist, Bon Iver, on the song Exile, a moody duet about lost love.
The collaboration came about after Swift reached out to Bon Iver in late April. According to Dressner, he sent Swift a collection of music he had been working on, and a few hours later, she sent him back a finished version of one of those songs, one of which became Exile.
Folklore is Swift’s most experimental projects so far with her deviation from her typical album’s formulas. Swift has abandoned commercial radio success to pursue less pop oriented sounds that serve as better backgrounds for her more complex lyrical ambitions. And, after years of inching away from country toward pop, Swift abandons the genre entirely on this project with an understanding that whatever direction she decides to go, fans will follow.
Photo Source: Fox Business