Out Now: Taylor Swift Releases an Unexpected Curveball of a New Album, ‘Folklore,’ Featuring Aaron Dessner of The National and Bon Iver (Listen)


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Taylor Swift dropped some surprise news early Thursday: The pop superstar had a new album ready to go — and, now, Folklore is here.

(Shop Taylor Swift music in our Rock Cellar Store by clicking here).

There’s a twist, though, and it’s one a good portion of music fans probably didn’t see coming. For Folklore, Swift worked alongside Aaron Dessner of The National (co-writing or producing 11 of the LP’s 16 songs), William Bowery (two co-writes), Bon Iver (co-write and a vocal guest spot on one song) and Jack Antonoff (whom Swift refers to as “basically musical family at this point).

That’s some significant indie rock clout, to say the least.

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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 ♥️

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“Exile,” a collaboration between Swift and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, is a highlight of the record:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osdoLjUNFnA

Aaron Dessner, songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and a key member of The National, shared a statement of his own regarding collaborating with Taylor Swift and how Folklore came about:

“I was excited and honored when Taylor approached me in late April about maybe writing some songs remotely together.” He continued, “I thought it would take a while for song ideas to come and I had no expectations as far as what we could accomplish remotely. But a few hours after sharing music, my phone lit up with a voice memo from Taylor of a fully written version of a song—the momentum never really stopped. Over the next few months, we remotely finished 11 songs (She also recorded several others with the amazing [Jack Antonoff]) of her magical new album folklore. I’ve rarely been so inspired by someone and it’s still hard to believe this even happened—these songs came together in such a challenging time.”

Folklore is Swift’s eighth studio album and the follow-up to Lover, which was released in August 2019.

Said the singer in a statement:

“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 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.”

A vastly different musical endeavor than we’re used to seeing from Swift, Folklore will likely appeal to a lot of people who hadn’t previously cared much for her music.

Stream the album below, via Spotify:


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