Back in March, there was this viral tweet about how during a quarantine due to a plague, Shakespeare wrote King Lear. Which, well, rude. But Taylor Alison Swift clearly took it to heart, and while some of us baked bread (and more bread and then even more bread but the kind with bananas in it) and took up hobbies like wallowing in existential despair … she made a new album, folklore. Her eighth, to be precise. The album is 16 tracks long, but if you buy a physical copy of the deluxe edition you get a bonus track, “the lakes.” “I wrote and recorded this music in isolation,” Swift wrote in an announcement on Instagram. I ate a lot of peanut butter straight from the jar in isolation, I muttered, in awe, while reading said announcement.
Aaron Dessner of The National co-wrote and produced a number of songs on the album. Jack Antonoff was, of course, involved. (On Instagram, Swift referred to him as “musical family.”) Bon Iver has a co-writing credit and appears on a track, “exile,” with Swift. William Bowery — possibly a pseudonym for Joe Alwyn or Austin Swift or, uh, Joni Mitchell?? — has some co-writing credits as well. Even though folklore dropped without Swift’s usual, clues-filled tradition, it wouldn’t be a Swift album without some Easter eggs. Swift also released the video for “cardigan” on Friday night — the entire thing was shot under supervision of a medical coordinator — which you can watch here. And then purchase a Swift-branded iteration for $49. You might not be able to see Swift headline Lover Fest, but at least you can have a sweater. And some Karlie Kloss conspiracy theories, as a treat.