The quarantine couldn’t stop Taylor Swift from producing an album, and it would seem all of us are happy with her new indie sound
On Thursday midnight, July 23, Taylor Swift released her eighth album titled Folklore, a well-rounded collection of songs written and recorded under quarantine. The American singer-songwriter produced and co-wrote majority of the album—11 out of the 16 songs in it—together with The National’s Aaron Dessner. Also on the record are Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and Swift’s long-time collaborator Jack Antonoff.
The 30-year-old, Grammy-winning artist took everyone by surprise when she announced the coming of her latest album just 17 hours before its launch. As soon as it became available online, it garnered an overwhelmingly positive response from journalists, Swifties, and generally everyone who has listened to the record.
People have been commending the pop icon, as she transitions to indie in her latest album, which pays tribute to frontliners on the job and under great pressure in the tough times of the health crisis.
Swift’s new album also fills the void left by her cancelled festival appearances, and even the headline slot at Glastonbury.
Currently, Folklore dominates the US and Philippines Apple Music charts, with all 16 tracks occupying the top 20 alternative songs chart. It is also trending on twitter as #Folklore has over 1.2 million tweets as of writing.
When we say everyone loves the new Swift songs, this is not an overstatement. Just hours after its release, rave reviews poured in.
Here are some of what international media outlets have been writing about the new album.
Folklore proves that she can thrive away from the noise: if you interpret “classmates” as pop peers, Swift is no longer competing… This strange summer of arrested development is steadily ending. Folklore will endure long beyond it: as fragmented as Swift is across her eighth album—and much as you hope it doesn’t mark the end of her pop ambitions—her emotional acuity has never been more assured.The Guardian
The themes and tone of Folklore are a little less “We can do it!” and a little more “Can we do it?” Because this new collection is Swift’s most overtly contemplative — as opposed to covertly reflective—album since the fan favorite Red. Actually, that’s an understatement. Red seems like a Chainsmokers album compared to the wholly banger-free Folklore, which lives up to the first half of its title by divesting itself of any lingering traces of Max Martin-ized dance-pop and presenting Swift, afresh, as your favorite new indie-electro-folk/chamber-pop balladeer… What keeps you locked in, as always, is the notion of Swift as truth-teller, barred or unbarred, in a world of pop spin. She’s celebrating the masked era by taking hers off again.Variety
Folklore puts the focus back on pure Swift songwriting magic, with the star shining lyrically more than she has in years. It is not only the star’s most surprising and experimental album yet, but her most clear and coherent vision since Red.Metro
Fittingly, it’s a low-key, somber record, looking back at old flames and old mistakes. The Technicolor exuberance of last year’s Lover is entirely gone. In its place are muted pianos, mournful harmonicas, and finger-picked guitars. This is Swift’s indie album… This is a more subdued singer than we’ve met before — and she’s hit on a rich seam of melancholy that chimes perfectly with the times.BBC
Folklore feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest. The glossy production she’s lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation. It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different. Swift disappeared into the metaphorical woods while writing Folklore, and she’s emerged stronger than ever.NME