Taylor Swift announced her new album, Folklore, to be released at midnight on July 24. This comes as a surprise to virtually everyone: no one, including her fanbase (the Swifties) who are known for their outlandish conspiracy theories, expected the move, and nothing leaked ahead of time. Folklore is arriving less than a year after Taylor Swift’s last album Lover, breaking her schedule of releasing an album every two to three years.
Although her last three efforts have been fully pop, Folklore appears to be taking a more acoustic direction. Whereas Lover’s color scheme was pastel pink and blue with fantastical Wonka-esque music videos, all of Folklore’s visuals are black-and-white. The album’s only featured artist is Bon Iver on the song “Exile,” and Aaron Dessner of The National co-wrote 11 out of 16 songs.
Taylor Swift previously explored a stripped-back folk sound on “Safe and Sound,” her single with The Civil Wars for the first Hunger Games soundtrack in 2012, as well as on her album Red released later that year. Fans have begged for a Stevie Nicks or Joni Mitchell-inspired album for years, and they may have finally gotten their wish. While not a New York native, Taylor Swift moved to the city before the release of 1989 in 2014. That album’s opening song was “Welcome To New York,” and she revisited the city on Lover’s “Cornelia Street” and “Daylight.”
While Folklore hasn’t had an accompanying lead single announcement, Taylor Swift is releasing a music video for the song “Cardigan” alongside the album. There are eight collectible CD and vinyl covers in total, reminiscent of the four different diaries she released alongside Lover last year.
Taylor Swifts’s last six albums, including Red and 1989, all debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. This time around, she’s facing competition from longtime rival Kanye West, who’s also releasing an album this week called Donda: With Child. Folklore has already sold 250,000 copies in China, and time will tell if she continues her #1 streak in the U.S.
For more information visit Taylor Swift’s website.