Look what lockdown made Taylor Swift do: write and record an entirely new album.
Forgoing her signature easter eggs and the hallmarks of a typical music release, the singer announced that she’s dropping her eighth studio album, “folklore,” at midnight on Friday, less than a year after putting out her last hit record, “Lover.”
“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,” Swift wrote on Instagram Thursday morning. “And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise.”
Swift said that she’s “poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings” in the project that will see her once again collaborate with producer Jack Antonoff, as well as The National’s Aaron Dessner and band Bon Iver, who is featured on the song “Exile.”
“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,” she continued in the caption. “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.”
Dessner shared a statement of his own on Twitter, saying Swift approached him about working remotely together on a new album in April.
Despite having concerns over how they would work without being in the same room together, Dessner sent over some songs he’d been working on during lockdown.
“But a few hours after sharing my music, my phone lit up with a voice memo from Taylor of a fully written version of a song — the momentum never really stopped,” he wrote. “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.”
A music video for the album’s lead single, “cardigan,” will also be released tonight, Swift announced in a separate post, revealing that she brought “Brokeback Mountain” cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto on board.
“The entire shoot was overseen by a medical inspector, everyone wore masks, stayed away from each other,” Swift wrote, adding that she did her own hair and makeup for the shoot.
Take a look at the tracklist for “folklore” below.
“The Last Great American Dynasty”
“Exile” (featuring Bon Iver)
“My Tears Ricochet”
“This Is Me Trying”
“The Lakes” (Bonus Track)