A new era of Taylor Swift

The best result of quarantine

On July 24, 2020 musician Taylor Swift released her 8th studio album. She gives many perspectives about relationships and life in general.

photo courtesy of Big Machine Records

On July 24, 2020 musician Taylor Swift released her 8th studio album. She gives many perspectives about relationships and life in general.

Brenna Batchelder, Staff Reporter

One of the most talked-about albums during quarantine lies in Taylor Swift’s newest album, “Folklore.”
Swift blessed her restless fans with a folk and indie styled album on July 24. She only teased the album 16 hours before it’s release, surprising all of her devoted fans 11 months after her last album, “Lover.”
Starting out the album, “the 1” sets the new soft vibe in stone while still having the signature Swift style. It has a comforting sound that feels like a hug while it reminisces on past lovers and what could’ve been. It is perfect music for studying or sitting in your room staring at the ceiling.

The next song, “cardigan,” introduces the storyline incorporated into the album. The storyline takes place over three songs and this track is the first one. It contains three different perspectives about a love triangle and how it impacts each of the people involved. This song takes the perspective of Betty, the girl in the relationship with the person who has an affair with the girl in august. This song perfectly captures her emotions about the affair her significant other had. It is definitely one of the most emotional songs on the album and really makes you feel for Betty.
Following “cardigan,” comes “the last great american dynasty.” Continuing the theme of telling stories, Swift incorporates the story of Rebekah Harkness. It has a contemporary pop sound which she slowly goes from a low octave to a high octave. Swift connects Harkness to herself. It’s a bit different and upbeat compared to the previous songs but it encapsulates the indie sound of the album.

“Exile” featuring Bon Iver is the fourth track on the album. The song illustrates a story about two ex-lovers who are in different stages of the breakup meeting each other again. Iver offers a perspective about someone who is confused and hurt about their partner moving on so quickly. Swift gives her perspective on the relationship and how she gave so many signs that things weren’t going to work within their relationship. Swift does a stunning job of conveying their emotions and makes listeners feel exactly what they felt.

Continuing the sadder emotions on the album is“my tears ricochet.” It has a soft and harmonic vibe that sounds absolutely beautiful. “My tears ricochet” illustrates a metaphorical murder. The harmonies in the bridge work together in a way that makes this song pop from the album.

“Mirrorball” continues the reflective themes of the album. She compares herself to a mirror ball that reflects the personalities of her friends, entertains them, and eventually shatters due to heartbreak. It’s really mesmerizing and is the perfect song to listen to while studying. “Mirrorball” continues Swift’s beautiful metaphors and is a perfect example of her lyrical talents.

“Seven” explores the concepts of innocence, nostalgia and unhappy homes. It demonstrates how people see childhood differently once they mature. The instrumental of this song stands out compared to the previous songs and adds a nice touch.

Next enters one of the best songs on the album: “august”. It shows the second perspective of the love triangle and is from the perspective of the lover who had an affair with the person in the relationship with Betty. Swift’s vocals in this song are some of the best vocals on “folklore.” It does an amazing job of building up the song and breaking it down in a satisfying way.

The 9th track on the album “this is me trying” shows how Swift is trying to become a better person. She makes countless efforts to fix her past mistakes. It sounds distant and it really fits the context of the song while continuing the vibe of the album.

Delicately transitioning, the next song is “illicit affairs.” Though the song is about infidelity, its gentle and sympathetic vibe demonstrates how affairs impact all people involved. The song itself feels like a hug while also making you want to cry with the lyrics. This song remains another example of how powerful Swift’s lyrical abilities are. “Illicit affairs” is definitely a strong song on the beautiful album which is “folklore.”

“Invisible string” starts off and instantly reminds me of some of Swift’s older songs. A slight country twang in the song makes me nostalgic to when I was little and listening to Swift. It discusses the concept of fate and how relationships work over a long period of time. It is a nice, upbeat transition from the last song, which remains one of the most emotional songs on the album.

Track 12 of “folklore” is “mad woman.” Swift references past scandals, drama, and songs within this song, reminding the listeners about what she has gone through during her career. The bitterness in the tone fits perfectly with the piano, creating a sound that draws people in.

Though the album cohesively is pretty strong, one of the weaker songs is “epiphany.” The instrumental is great and the harmonies are beautiful as usual, but it didn’t really interest me. It contains metaphors about wars and is pretty reflective of a chaotic world and trying to find some sort of peace.

The last song of the three-part storyline involving the love triangle is “betty”. It takes the perspective of the person who cheated on Betty and reminisces on what they missed out on and their mistakes. It also reminds me of her older songs and definitely is one of my favorites. It is extremely catchy and comforting.

Track 15 of “folklore” introduces the song “peace.” This song is about how Swift has matured within her views of relationships. The vocals really stand out in this song, giving it more of slam poetry like sound. It is a really nice change of pace compared to the last couple of songs.

Ending off the official album, “hoax” is track 16. “Hoax” is about a toxic relationship and the struggles of it. Because it’s one of the final songs written, it ends off the album in a cohesive way. As with the rest of the album, the lyrics and instrumental work together to create an amazing song.

Swift decided to add a bonus song called “the lakes.”It remains a powerful example of her lyrical abilities and adds a nice touch to the album while being a bonus track.

“Folklore” is definitely one of Swift’s stronger works. I don’t normally listen to her albums in its entirety, but this one was the exception. Ever since I listened to it the first time, her songs have found their way into my playlists and my morning routine. In my opinion, some of the stronger songs on the album include “cardigan,” “illicit affairs” and “my tears ricochet,” The album as a whole demonstrates her lyrical abilities to their fullest potential and it is definitely something everyone should enjoy. 4.5/5 stars