Taylor Swift has just surprised us with her eighth studio album titled folklore, a collaboration with producers Jack Antonoff and The National’s Aaron Dessner, and it is definitely “the one.” The Grammy award winning singer took to social media on Thursday, July 24, to announce she would be dropping an album at midnight, as well as a music video for single “cardigan,” just hours before.
Even though the release was out of the blue, fans have been super excited and impressed by the new music since, myself included.
Beginning from a very young age, I was always a giant fan of Taylor Swift’s music. However, in more recent years, my music taste has expanded and her last album Lover was too much upbeat pop for my liking, becoming the first of her LP’s I barely listened to.
Unlike her past transformation of albums being labeled as “Country,” then “Pop,” this new LP is under the “Alternative” genre on Apple Music; But I would categorize it as a beautiful mix of genres, from soft-pop to indie to folk, as it has a sound more reminiscent of her older albums, such as “Red". The project is something so unexpected that I couldn’t say I had been waiting for it, but it’s a perfect and pleasant surprise regardless, maybe even being my favorite album of hers ever.
For many, the current state of the world has not been the best for the mind, but the feeling this work of art can bring is sure to help fuel a better and lighter mood.
For Swift, isolation was a place where her imagination was able to run wild, as she explained in the post to Instagram above. You can hear the imagery in the lyrics, each song told like a story and sung so smoothly that your mind can go to a beautiful place of its own.
"folklore" is the 30-year-old singer/songwriter’s first explicit album, too, a small part that shows how Swift has grown not only as an artist, but as an individual. The title and song names are also all written in lowercase lettering, which sets the tone for the album’s stripped-down theme.
While her entire career has shown the wide variety of talent Swift has to offer, there is still obvious development with this new release . With "folklore", there has been improvement in not just writing and style, but sound and all-around creativity as well.
“And just like a folk song / Our love will be passed on,” Swift sings on “seven.” Just as stated in track seven’s lyrics, Swift wants her fans to pass down this album like folk songs, too.
The LP takes listeners through different time periods, as well as different perspectives. Through “the last great american dynasty,” Swift relates herself to Rebekah Harkness, a previous owner of her Rhode Island home.
Swift also mentioned that there is a trilogy of tracks she likes to refer to as the “teenage love-triangle”; which three those are, though, is a mystery left to be investigated by listeners. Of course, there are many theories already, the most prominent surrounding tracks “cardigan,“ “august,“ and “betty.”
These storybook-like words are what make this more than an album, into a true display of talent and versatility that I could truly go on and on about. “folklore" brings raw emotions and nostalgic vibes, making a beautiful getaway from whatever harsher thoughts have been roaming your brain.
Swift also created eight deluxe editions of the album, available in both CD and vinyl form for one week only, that I’m sure will be collector’s items, as well as a variety of other merchandise.
If you haven’t yet and if you weren’t a fan of Taylor Swift’s artistry before, you need to go listen to “folklore" as soon as possible.
I would give this album 4.75 out of 5 Swoops.