Taylor Swift drops A Surprise Indie-folk Album
Written By Marisa Pisterzi
At midnight on July 24, Taylor Swift surprised fans with her eighth studio album “folklore,” making waves through social media. Months of quarantine inspired Swift to channel her free time into a 16 song fantasy album filled with whimsical and intertwined storylines.
“Folklore” tastefully pays homage to her earlier albums while exhibiting the growth and maturity in the writing of her most recent works. Exceptional storytelling, smart instrumentation, and gut hitting melodies come together to form a vibe that is both familiar and refreshingly new.
The album begins with “the 1,” which contains another surprise: explicit content that sets the tone right off the bat. Bright and airy instrumentals and vocal melodies are accompanied by heartbreaking lyrics, setting melancholic undertones throughout the rest of the album. The undeniably relatable lyrics can make even the most stoic of us look back to an old relationship and wonder what could’ve been.
Then we transition into an instant classic. “Cardigan,” which was accompanied by a music video released the same night, reminds us of the blissful comfort that one person can give you to pull you out of a dark place. During quarantine season, where social isolation and loneliness run rampant, this rang close to home.
Fans quickly caught onto Swift’s “illicit affairs” teen love triangle storyline, that intertwines the perspectives of “cardigan”, “august”, and “betty.” In “cardigan” we hear Betty, the main love
interest’s perspective, that explains the bitter feeling of infidelity ruining a good thing. “August” is from the perspective of the other woman, Inez, who is left pining for someone who used them for a thrill. Lastly, we have “Betty” from the perspective of James, summarizing the regret and heartache he is consumed by after cheating with Inez. “You heard the rumors from Inez, you can’t believe a word she says, most times. But this time it is true.” / “I’m only seventeen, I don’t know anything but I know I miss you… standing in your cardigan.”
This love triangle encompasses Swift’s innate gift for storytelling. The playful interweaving of these heavy-hearted tales shows a different side to Swift as a lyricist. Small Easter eggs planted in songs that are separated in the beginning, middle, and end of the album bring it all together into a storybook feeling of sorrow and imagination.
Swift has done it again. She continues to put out albums that stay on fan’s playlists for years to come, providing refuge for broken and healed hearts alike. Swift has proven that she will continue to put out successful albums that break records and have infinite shelf lives, regardless of the hurdles she’s had to climb in the industry. It’s exciting to see the next chapter in her career, where she can have full reign to explore her artistry and imagination under no one’s thumb but her own. HustleTV Music News Review