Monday 8/3/2020 1am ET: Feature LP: Taylor Swift – folklore (2020)

Folklore (stylized in all lowercase) is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, released on July 24, 2020, through Republic Records. A surprise album, announced without pre-release promotional campaigns, Folklore was written and recorded while Swift was in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Musically, the album marks a departure from the upbeat pop sound of Swift’s preceding studio albums for stripped-down tunes driven by piano and guitar, featuring producers Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff. Categorized as an indie folk, alternative rock, electro-folk, and chamber pop record, the album portrays what Swift called “a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness” rising out of her imagination. It manifests vivid storytelling from third-person narratives that largely details heartbreak and retrospection.

“Cardigan” was released as the lead single from the album on July 27, 2020. “Exile”, featuring American indie folk band Bon Iver, and “Betty” are scheduled to be the second and third singles, respectively. Folklore received widespread critical acclaim, with emphasis on its sonic coherence, relaxed atmosphere, and lyrics based on fictional narratives. It broke numerous streaming records upon release, including a registered Guinness World Record for the biggest opening day for an album by a female artist on Spotify. The album sold two million copies in its first week globally, 1.3 million of which were sold on its first day. In the United States, it moved more than 500,000 units within its first three days, marking the biggest debut week of 2020 in the country.

Yielding more than 846,000 units in its first-week in the US, Folklore debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart, giving Swift her seventh consecutive number-one album on the chart and making her the first female act in history to debut seven albums at the top spot. The album also topped the charts in Australia, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and many other territories.

1. “The 1” 3:30
2. “Cardigan” 3:59
3. “The Last Great American Dynasty” 3:51
4. “Exile” (featuring Bon Iver) 4:45
5. “My Tears Ricochet” 4:15
6. “Mirrorball” 3:29
7. “Seven” 3:28
8. “August” 4:21
9. “This Is Me Trying” 3:15
10. “Illicit Affairs” 3:10
11. “Invisible String” 4:12
12. “Mad Woman” 3:57
13. “Epiphany” 4:49
14. “Betty” 4:54
15. “Peace” 3:54
16. “Hoax” 3:40