On July 23, following months of isolation and with mere hours’ notice, Taylor Swift jolted her fans and the music world back awake with the surprise release of her eighth studio album, Folklore. Just as surprising as the release itself was her transformation from pop princess to an indie soundtrack of her life. With Folklore, Taylor proves once again that she cannot be confined by genre—and that it’s almost annoying how diversely talented she is.
Alongside her social media album announcement, Taylor described her creative process during quarantine: “In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness. Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history, and memory.”
Her words come at a time when the whole world is craving escape. Folklore does not disappoint in bringing an enchanting retreat from 2020’s harsh reality. It brings its listeners along to Rhode Island mansions with salt-aired beaches and pools of champagne, to messy teenage love and to soulmates tied together by an invisible string.
The 16-song album’s standout tracks are 'august', 'the last great american dynasty', 'betty', and current single 'cardigan'—all poignant, cinematic songs that display fully Swift’s masterful talents as a poet and storyteller.
This album again verifies Taylor Swift’s relevancy and why she has been able to captivate audiences since she was in high school: it is clear in her lyrics and her melodies that, despite her many instances of heartbreak and betrayal, Taylor still loves music, she loves love, and she loves life itself, with all its simple pleasures like old cardigans, Sunday matinees, and rendezvous at the mall.
[bf_image id="qdxjfp-acntwo-56viet"] Is Folklore her best album yet? With her many metamorphoses, Taylor makes it pretty impossible to choose. Sometimes the idealistic, nostalgic country-pop of Fearless is just what’s needed. Sometimes it’s the loud, thrilling electropop of Reputation. But if you’re looking for a warm, wistful album to walk pensively around campus on these chilly autumn days and revel in Swift’s pure talent as a songwriter, there is none better than Folklore.