Taylor kept the release of her eighth studio album – the follow-up to 2019’s mega successful Lover – a secret up until a day before its release when she wrote on social media, “Most of the things I’d planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there’s something I hadn’t planned on that did happen.”
On its release Folklore shattered the global record for first-day album streams on Spotify by a female artist with 80,6 million streams, and became the most streamed pop album on Apple Music, with 35,47 million streams in 24 hours.
The 30-year-old wrote and recorded the entire album during lockdown. “I poured all of my whims, dreams, fears and musings into it but also got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine,” she says.
On its release the 10-time Grammy winner penned an elegant essay to her fans, saying her inspiration “started with imagery”.
View this post on Instagram
In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness. Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history, and memory. I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve. Now it’s up to you to pass them down. folklore is out now. ??: Beth Garrabrant
“Visuals that popped into my mind and piqued my curiosity. Stars drawn around scars. A cardigan that still bears the scent of loss 20 years later. The tree swing in the woods of my childhood . . . A tale that becomes folklore is one that’s passed down and whispered around. Sometimes even sung about. Now it’s up to you to pass them down.”
The album boasts 16 tracks, including the first single, Cardigan, as well as songs with titles such as August, My Tears Ricochet and Exile featuring vocalist Justin Vernon from indie folk band Bon Iver.
Taylor also directed the music video for Cardigan. “The entire shoot was overseen by a medical inspector, everyone wore masks and stayed away from one another, and I even did my own hair, makeup and styling,” she wrote.
The You Need To Calm Down hitmaker roped in the help of fellow US singer/songwriter Aaron Dessner and her long-time music producer Jack Antonoff.
“She’s really just one of the most hardworking, sharp, focused, talented people I’ve ever encountered,” Aaron says.
Legends Never Die
By Juice World
The late rapper’s
third album explores
his battles with anxiety, drug addiction
and hints at his imminent death (he died in
December 2019 aged
21 from an accidental
Standout offerings are Life’s a Mess with Halsey and Tell Me U Luv Me with Trippie Redd. The tracks are interspersed with audio clips from Juice, which sounds eerily like a message from beyond.
Life On Earth
By Summer Walker
Just 10 months after
her debut album,
Over It, Walker has
released a five-track
EP that reflects her
views on self-love,
breakups and finding
The songbird gives off a classic R&B vibe with her smooth, sexy vocals. An enjoyable listen for any contemporary R&B fan.