Folklore Review

PC: Republic Records

PC: Republic Records

Mackenzie Noakes, Staff Writer

The corona virus and subsequent quarantine that has left everyone a bit lonely and blue has proved to be a largely unprecedented and unexpected era for new music and other forms of art. It seems pop star Taylor Swift knew quite well how to name these feelings and more in her new alternative album, folklore. Conceived and created in an introspective self-isolation, co- written and produced by Aaron Dessner of The Nationals, Swift proves that she still has more to give and isnt planning on stopping anytime soon. 


The album was released as a surprise, giving warning of its release a mere 15 hours before the album came out. This is a contrast to Swifts marketing strategy in the past, usually dropping hints and clues for months in advance. The surprise of it all made it that much sweeter and more personal to all listeners. 


The record opens with “The 1,” a song about moving on but still wondering what things would have been like if it had just worked out with that one person. She throws imagery of the Roaring Twenties and wishing on coins to create a nostalgic yet wise narrative of a growing woman. The first single released “Cardigan” is, I believe, one the the strongest songs Swift has ever written. Filled with longing and being wise beyond your years at a mere seventeen, the song is a part of a three song story arc along with “Betty” and “August”, three points of view in an ill fated teen romance. Swift also opens up about her triumphs and struggles in her own personal life with “Peace’’ and ‘’Invisible string,” both of which capture the highs and lows of a relationship. Swift also writes about her ongoing legal battle with her old label, Big Machine Records, who sold her master catalogue back in 2019. Each song on the album speaks to a different facet of Swifts artistry, whether its lyrics or melodies. 


If you miss the twang and softness of Taylor in her early years, this is the album for you. Composed of long piano ballads and heart aching storytelling, the album feels like the end to a warm August day. And Swift proves yet again, that when we feel lost, music can bring us back home.