Taylor Swift‘s surprise album folklore is getting rave reviews from fans and critics alike. It’s not EDM by any means, but it’s one of the best things to happen to music in 2020.
With the industry stripped of its shows and promotion, there’s no better time to let the music speak for itself. And, per usual, Swift has a new world of storytelling to share. The singer/songwriter digs deep, drawing influence from her life, as well as that of others, for her most mature and comprehensive release to date, which carries itself appropriately for the times.
Swift speaks on writing folklore:
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.
This album made in isolation marks Swift’s 8th studio effort and a distinct shift from pop music into indie/folk as the once country singer continues to evolve and shine brightly in doing so. But, again, the common denominator has always been storytelling, which we’re all here for (prime example: “the last great american dynasty”).
I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I’ve never met, people I’ve known, or those I wish I hadn’t.
The devil’s in the details. Swift has mastered the ability to remain insanely specific, true, and tailored to her own experiences, whilst relating to everyone who listens. From the painfully harmonic “exile” with Bon Iver to the haunting curse of “my tears ricochet,” to the sweet desperation of “this is me trying,” and to the soft angst heard in “mad woman,” folklore is every emotion and every love story wrapped into one exquisite hour.
Nods go out to The National‘s Aaron Dessner, Bon Iver, William Bowery, and Jack Antonoff for their writing and production contributions.