Taylor Swift has done it again, and this time she showed she didn’t even need a lead in to sell millions of albums when she dropped a 16-song album on Friday by surprise. folklore is that album we didn’t know we needed until we got it, and it hasn’t left our clutches since!
It only makes sense for an album this good to be breaking so many records in just the two short days it’s been out. folklore, sold over 1.3 million copies worldwide in just 24 hours, as well as set the Spotify Global Record for First Day Album Streams by a Female Artist with over 80.6 million. Taylor Swift also set the record with the Most Streamed Pop Album on Apple Music in 24 Hours with 35.47 million, even though this album is technically not classified as that genre despite the singer’s usual category.
It seems Taylor can no longer be placed and held back in her pop bubble any longer as this is her first album to be classified as in the alternative genre, which makes sense because it definitely has a completely different sound than usual. And you will be blown away.
Like many people, the things Swift planned for this year just didn’t work out and with the extra time at home, she spent a lot with her creativity.
“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.
– Taylor Swift on Instagram
Now if only our imagination could come up with this masterpiece.
On social media, the singer/songwriter also mentioned that she would usually wait for the perfect time to release the project but, her gut was telling her something different.
“My gut telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with.”
We’re sure glad she listened to her instincts.
folklore: the breakdown
The beat may seem playful but the lyrics will already have you missing a love that could’ve been.
“But it would’ve been fun
If you would’ve been the one”
This song perfectly describes trying to seem like you have moved on from a lost love, but you’re constantly thinking, what would’ve happened if we ended up together. Taylor brings the heat with the first track and even sticks the explicit label on it, something rare in her discography. The first track also starts the film reference with the line, “I hit the Sunday matinée/ You know the greatest films of all time were never made.”
The first single off the album and a good representation of the overall sound.
“And when I felt like I was an old cardigan
Under someone’s bed
You put me on and said I was your favorite”
Reminiscing of an old love, Swift sings of the joy and pain a relationship can make you feel. An ode to the memories imprinted in our minds of young love. This was also the first video to drop off of folklore, and it’s full of all the magic and pain the song describes.
‘the last great american dynasty’
This song makes you want to get up and dance, but the lyrics tell the story of Swift’s home in Rhode Island.
“Fifty years is a long time
Holiday House sat quietly on that beach
Free of women with madness, their men and bad habits
And then it was bought by me”
Wondering how we got to the conclusion of this song’s backstory? Here us out. Rebekah, mentioned in the lyrics is Rebekah Harkness who after marrying Bill, inherited a large share of Oil, making her one of the richest women in the US.
After listening to the lyrics a few times, you may pick up on some of the parallels Swift drew between Rebekah’s life and her own. Taylor showing off those lyricist skills again!
‘exile (feat. Bon Iver)’
A feature is also a rare occurrence on a Taylor Swift album, but when they are there, they are a masterpiece. ‘exile’ opens with Justin Vernon’s deep resounding vocals before Swift jumps in to harmonize perfectly.
“You were my town, now I’m in exile, seein’ you out”
The way the artists’ vocals flawlessly dance around the track and each other is breathtaking, especially in the bridge where Vernon and Swift seem to even be in a conversation.
This song also mentions the movie theme we played on throughout folklore with ” I think I’ve seen this film before/ And I didn’t like the ending” and the war theme we also see in some songs with the line, You’re not my homeland anymore/So what am I defending now?”
‘my tears ricochet’
This song brings the war and battlefield tones the album gives to life, as it talks about when the hurt you give someone comes back to you and only then you feel bad, but at that moment it’s too late.
“And if I’m dead to you, why are you at the wake?’
Taylor Swift reveals just how amazing of a songwriter she is with ‘mirrorball and its beautiful play on words.
“I’m a mirrorball
I can change everything about me to fit in”
This song emits the vibe that not only is Taylor able to reflect what she needs to fit in, she also absorbs the light that she sees in her lover as she reflects his personality over time by studying and understanding their every side.
This track is has a lighthearted and refreshing sound as Taylor reminisces how good and carefree it felt to be a child.
“Please picture me in the trees
I hit my peak at seven”
A song to be “passed down like a folk song” about childhood love and friendship they will never forget.
Describing a summer romance gone too soon, this song may help out the theory of folklore young love triangle as it could be told from the viewpoint of James’ other woman who he cheated on Betty with, who has a whole song dedicated to her a little further on. If this album does tell the story of a love triangle, this track would go hand in hand with ‘betty’ and ‘cardigan.’
“And I can see us twisted in bedsheets
August sipped away like a bottle of wine
‘Cause you were never mine”
‘this is me trying’
Trying to say sorry, trying to get through it all, this song can allude to many things, but we can all agree it’s one of the most emotional on the album Yes, those are tears we have.
“They told me all of my cages were mental
So I got wasted like all my potential”
Talking about the regrets and how they ended up in the spot they’re in and the struggles it took to get there. If the song doesn’t get you in the first half, just wait till the last line.
“At least I’m trying”
Taylor also uses that movie motif we saw earlier on with the line, “You’re a flashback in a film reel on the one screen in my town.”
Unlike many Swift songs, the title to this one is as literal as some of the lyrics as she sings on about “hooded” heads and excuses to be sure you aren’t caught.
“And that’s the thing about illicit affairs
And clandestine meetings and longing stares”
Could this be an ode to the secret loves Swift has had out of the public eye or a play into the story of the young love triangle?
Pressing play on ‘invisible string’ takes you back to a young Taylor Swift sound, the plucking of guitar strings, and the telling of a story through colors.
“And isn’t it just so pretty to think
All along there was some
Tying you to me?”
Telling the story of a love that was connected way before either even realized in only a way that Taylor Swift can, you’re taken on a journey through a budding relationship.
People love to call women crazy, or angry when they are merely standing up for themselves, so why not just accept the title and own it.
“Every time you call me crazy, I get more crazy
What about that?”
An anthem for all women who are tired of being poked and prodded and then blamed for their reaction even though the other party is the problem.
As an album made completely in quarantine, we can only think that some of the lyrics were written for the time, while others paint a parallel to the past.
“Something med school did not cover
Someone’s daughter, someone’s mother
Holds your hand through plastic now
‘Doc, I think she’s crashing out’
And some things you just can’t speak about”
This track is heavy on the war themes throughout the album with the whole first verse and chorus alluding to a battle of some kind.
Bringing the story of the triangle of lovers together, ‘betty’ seems to be from the viewpoint of the one straight in the middle of it.
“The worst thing that I ever did
Was what I did to you”
Knowing they messed up, this track takes the reigns as an “I know you’re mad at me but what if I just showed up at your home, would you forgive me?” Showing an end to the triangle drama as the school year begins.
“Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?”
The question Taylor Swift leaves in the chorus summarizes the song perfectly as no matter how much you do for someone or how much you love them, if you aren’t the one for them or the one got away, will they ever have peace?
As the album seemed to be a constant fight for love, ‘hoax’ was a great pick to end it and bring it all together. Narrating the story of a toxic love filled with sadness and lies, it’s all she wants.
“Your faithless love’s the only hoax I believe in
Don’t want no other shade of blue but you
No other sadness in the world would do”
If some of the musicality in the track sound similar, you aren’t alone as we also think it sounds like a more depressing version of ‘cardigan.’
what version of folklore are you?
As if a 16-song album wasn’t enough, Swift also dropped 8 deluxe CDs & 8 deluxe vinyl albums that include a bonus track, ‘the lakes.’
These deluxe versions are only available for a limited time so get your favorite one while it’s still there!
The merch store also dropped loads of new folklore swag, which also has some pieces for a limited time, but if you’re quick enough you could get a cool mug or even a cardigan like the one from the music video!
Did you order new merch or an edition of the deluxe album? What’s your favorite track from folklore? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @TheHoneyPOP!
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Featured Image: Taylor Swift via Instagram