Taylor Swift Created ‘folklore’ in Under 3 Months; What Was Her Process?

Taylor Swift is known for surprising her fans, but she managed to outdo herself when she released her new album, folklore earlier today. Swifties weren’t expecting TS8 (a pseudonym for Swift’s eighth studio album) until 2021 at the earliest. The “False God” singer has typically followed a pattern of releasing an album every two years. Since her last album, Lover debuted only 11 months ago, fans could never have anticipated the arrival of folklore.

folklore artist Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

But, Swift is also famed for subverting expectations. One only has to look at her career and witness how she transitioned from country music to pop to see that she often does what is least expected of her. folklore is a wonderful example of this. Rather than releasing “Cruel Summer” as a single (which her fans have been begging her to do for months), she decided to gift them with a whole new album.

Taylor Swift announces her new album, ‘folklore’

“Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise 🤗Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into,” Swift shared with her millions of fans on social media.

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folklore features 16 new songs and one bonus track in the deluxe edition. As per usual, Swift had a hand in writing each and every one of the songs. She also worked with three co-writers (Aaron Dessner, Bon Iver, and Jack Antonoff) for the album. Together the four artists were able to write folklore in under three months. In a recent Instagram post, Dessner revealed that Swift didn’t even approach him about the idea of collaborating until late April.

Aaron Dessner on co-writing ‘cardigan’ and 10 other songs on ‘folklore’

“I was excited and honored when Taylor approached me in late April about maybe writing some songs remotely together. I had been isolating with my family but writing a ton of music in the first months of quarantine which I shared,” Dessner shared. The songwriter continued on to add that writing with the “august” singer turned out to be a ridiculously swift (pun intended) process. Dessner even shared that he still can’t believe how seamlessly the project was able to take form.

“I thought it would take a while for song ideas to come and I had no expectations as far as what we could accomplish remotely. But a few hours after sharing music, my phone lit up with a voice memo from Taylor of a fully written version of a song — the momentum never really stopped. Over the next few months, we remotely finished 11 songs (She also recorded several others with the amazing @jackantonoff) of her magical new album ‘folklore’. I’ve rarely been so inspired by someone and it’s still hard to believe this even happened — these songs came together in such a challenging time,” Dessner shared about working with Swift.

Dessner champions Swift for her work on the album

Dessner also added that Swift has an incredible work ethic and that he was excited for fans to hear what they created together. “I’m very proud of all these songs and profoundly grateful to @taylorswift for inviting me into and trusting me in her process. She is one of the most talented, hardworking and deeply caring artists I’ve ever encountered. There’s a palpable humanity and warmth and raw emotion in these songs that I hope you’ll love and take comfort in as much as I do,” Dessner shared about folklore. It’s pretty impressive that Swift and her team were able to create a body of work in such a short amount of time. We’re intrigued by what else will come from Swift’s folklore era.