To say that Taylor Swift’s eighth studio album, folklore, was a surprise would be a huge understatement. Her record label didn’t even know that she was working on something until the week before she released the album. Furthermore, Swift didn’t even tell any of her friends that she was working on something new. In fact, the only people who knew of the album’s existence prematurely were her fellow collaborators.
For folklore, Swift worked with her longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff. However, she added a bunch of new people to the mix also. The evermore artist also worked closely with Aaron Dessner of The National. In addition to them, she worked with Bon Iver on the song “exile”. Finally, Swift teamed up with her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, on the Grammy award-winning album.
Taylor Swift’s collaborators didn’t realized that they were making an album
But even Swift’s collaborators didn’t know that they were absolutely working toward an album in the beginning. In fact, neither did Swift herself. The “I Bet You Think About Me” singer was just looking to create music with all the downtime she had. Thanks to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Swift had more free time than she’d had in years. Naturally, she thought to fill that time with music.
Though Swift was writing at warp speed with her musical pals, it wasn’t until folklore was nearly complete that she felt it was an album. In an interview with Vulture, Dessner recalled the moment that Swift declared that the body of work was an album.
When did the ‘All Too Well’ artist realize the songs were for ‘folklore’?
“It was only after writing six or seven songs, basically when I thought my writing was done, when we got on the phone and said, ‘OK, I think we’re making an album. I have these six other ideas that I love with Jack [Antonoff] that we’ve already done, and I think what we’ve done fits really well with them,’” Dessner recalled.
Though Swift had worked with drastically different collaborators, she felt that the songs could all fit under one theme, and thus folklore was born. In the aforementioned interview, Dessner shared that the albums had an overarching story even if it isn’t super sonically cohesive.
What is Swift’s album, ‘folklore’ about?
“It’s sort of these narratives, these folkloric songs, with characters that interweave and are written from different perspectives,” Dessner said about Swift’s album. “She had a vision, and it was connecting back in some way to the folk tradition, but obviously not entirely sonically. It’s more about the narrative aspect of it.”
Swift may not have realized that she was making an album until the final hour, but we’re sure her many fans are glad she did. folklore and its sister album, evermore, which was another surprise release, have become staples is Swift’s discography. It will be interesting to see what she dreams up next.
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