‘folklore’ tops charts after surprise release

Written By Tia Bailey, Co-Features/A&E Editor

4.5/5 Globes


Taylor Swift is known for changing her sound in almost every album. She’s explored country, pop, and now she’s moving into indie folk. 

On July 24, Swift released her surprise eighth studio album, “folklore,” onto streaming platforms. 

“folklore” is classified as an indie folk/pop album, and was produced by Swift herself, along with Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dressner. Swift wrote and recorded the album while in quarantine the last few months and announced the album the day she was releasing it. 

The album consists of 16 tracks with a bonus track on the deluxe edition. Most of the songs follow a few different story lines, and some show different points of view from other characters. 

“cardigan,” “august,” and “betty” are a trilogy of songs that tell the story of James, Betty, and an unnamed girl. “betty” is from the point of view of James, who cheats on Betty and tries to make it up to her. “cardigan” is told from Betty’s point of view after being cheated on by James, and “august” shows the point of view from the unnamed girl James cheated with, who romanticized their affair and also ended up getting hurt. 

“the last great american dynasty” tells the true story of Rebekah Harkness, the previous owner of a mansion Swift owns in Rhode Island. 

The song “invisible string” is about a lover who she sees herself tied to by an “invisible string.” Fans have speculated that a line in the song is a shout-out to ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas. The line “Cold was the steel of my axe to grind for the boys who broke my heart/Now I send their babies presents” is a nod to Jonas and his wife Sophie Turner’s new baby and shows that there are no more hard feelings between the two.

On Aug. 21, Swift tweeted out that she sees songs from the album as “chapters,” and that each chapter has a different theme. She put the different chapters into their own playlists and onto different streaming platforms. Swift is sharing a new chapter playlist to Twitter every few days. 

Although the indie sound of “folklore” is new from Swift, the album did exceptionally well on the charts, and fans are loving the change. 

“cardigan” was released as the album’s single, and immediately shot to number one on the Hot 100 list, and the album as a whole has spent four consecutive weeks at number one of Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart. 

Additionally, on Billboard’s Alternative Streaming Songs list, “cardigan” peaked at number one, “exile” featuring Bon Iver peaked at number two and nine other tracks from “folklore” made the top ten list. 

“folklore” is perfect for fans of indie pop, especially if they are already fans of Swift. The album has at least one song that all listeners can relate to, especially those who have had their heart broken at some point.