“Folklore”: The new face of Taylor Swift

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Elena Sherwood

Taylor Swift released her eighth studio album, “Folklore,” on July 24 2020.

“In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result,” wrote Taylor Swift in an Instagram post, announcing the release of her eighth album, “Folklore.” The album was revealed to “Swifties,” fans of Swift’s music, just hours before its debut, serving as a shock to the fan base. “Folklore” was released on July 24, 2020, and includes 16 songs total, lasting just over an hour in length. She began her music career as a country artist and transitioned into pop, but her newest album displayed a new side of Swift that fans haven’t seen before. 

 

Before pressing play, the listener may notice a difference in the cover art compared to her past albums. “Folklore” illustrates a forest of tall trees, shaded in black and white, with a small figure of Swift standing among them. As a tease before the announcement of the album, she released the cover without explanation, hinting that new music was in the works. This album cover is unlike any other cover she has had, as many of them are full of color. 

 

Swift’s voice on the album is another shift she made on this album. She sings in a lower, more somber tone in many of the songs, which is something listeners haven’t heard from her. The mellow voice of Swift makes this album an easy listen, and allows listeners to clearly hear the thoughtful lyrics behind each song. 

The mellow voice of Swift makes this album an easy listen, and allows listeners to clearly hear the thoughtful lyrics behind each song. ”

 

Since Swift began writing music, she has always written about love, and this album is no different. In “Folklore,” song 14, “Betty,” talks about a love story between two people that took a wrong turn. “The worst thing that I ever did was what I did to you,” sang Swift while describing the relationship between the two characters. Each song on the album represents an image or thought of Swift’s while creating this album. Swift said in an Instagram post that “pretty soon these images in my head [for this album] grew faces or names and became characters,” which indicates that all characters in the songs on “Folklore” are imaginary. By creating an album based solely upon the visions in Swift’s head, she has revealed a side of her that fans haven’t seen from her until now.

 

“Folklore” has presented many changes to Swift’s music in many aspects. As she transitioned between music genres, she became one of the most well known pop stars on the planet, gaining millions of “Swifties” all over the world. “Folklore” displays itself as a completely new genre for Swift, that includes elements of both country and pop, similar to indie or alternative music. In this album, five of the songs include profanity, which is something Swift hasn’t included in her music before. Swift is beginning to mature in her music as she gets older, just like her fan base. 

“A tale that becomes folklore is one that is passed down and whispered around.”

— Taylor Swift

 

Many questions surfaced surrounding the title of the album. Swift wrote that “a tale that becomes folklore is one that is passed down and whispered around.” She expressed she wants this album to be an example of folklore when she said, “Now it is up to you [her fans] to pass them [her songs] down.” Swift’s eighth album was created in her home during quarantine, which allowed her to experiment more with her music. With changes made to the sound, creation and album cover, it is difficult to know what fans can expect from her next.