Taylor Swift shocked fans around the world on Thursday morning (July 23) with the announcement of a surprise album, Folklore, dropping approximately 16 hours later.
The 16-track project marks the superstar’s eighth studio album and the follow-up to Lover, which was released less than one year ago.
“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,” Swift wrote in a series of Instagram posts. “And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise.”
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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 ?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 but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine; @aarondessner (who has co-written or produced 11 of the 16 songs), @boniver (who co-wrote and was kind enough to sing on one with me), William Bowery (who co-wrote two with me) and @jackantonoff (who is basically musical family at this point). Engineered by Laura Sisk and Jon Low, mixed by Serban Ghenea & Jon Low. The album photos were shot by the amazing @bethgarrabrant. 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. Love you guys so much ♥️
She went on to share that she “poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings” into the making of the album and revealed that the entire project was written and recorded in isolation with a few of her “musical heroes,” including Aaron Dessner, Bon Iver, William Bowery and Jack Antonoff.
“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,” Swift explained. “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. Love you guys so much.”
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folklore will have 16 songs on the standard edition, but the physical deluxe editions will include a bonus track called “the lakes.” Because this is my 8th studio album, I made 8 deluxe CD editions and 8 deluxe vinyl editions that are available for one week? Each deluxe edition has unique covers, photos, and artwork. Available exclusively at taylorswift.com
Swift’s announcement has many fans wondering what musical direction she plans to take on this record. The album’s artwork and aesthetics lead fans to believe that Folklore might just find the 10-time Grammy winner returning to her singer/songwriter roots. While it may not fall exactly into the country music realm, the music on Folklore may be reminiscent of some of her earlier work.
Will Folklore be similar to her 2012 album, RED? Fans seem to think so as the album re-entered the iTunes Top 100 just hours after her surprise announcement.
Prior to the release of Folklore, Swift will premiere a music video for the track, “Cardigan.” Swift revealed that she wrote and directed the clip and also did her own hair, makeup and styling in an effort to abide by social distancing guidelines.
Folklore will be released at 12:00 am ET. There is a standard version with 16 tracks and eight deluxe versions with one bonus track.
Folklore Track List:
“The Last Great American Dynasty”
“Exile” (featuring Bon Iver)
“My Tears Ricochet”
“This is Me Trying”
“The Lakes” (Bonus Track)