The Nashville native, 30, announced on Thursday, July 23, that her eighth studio album was coming out the next day. “Surprise,” she tweeted, adding that “all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings” were poured into each of the 16 tracks.
“Before this year, I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed,” she wrote in a thoughtful letter to her loyal fans. “My gut is 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.”
The next day, the Grammy winner opened up about the inspiration behind the stripped-down new record.
“It started with imagery,” she explained in a lengthy note on Friday, July 24. “I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I’ve never met, people I’ve never known, or those I wish I hadn’t. … 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. … Now it’s up to you to pass them down.”
In honor of the new album, Antonoff, 36, reflected on the collaborative process that led up to Folklore‘s release.
“Working with Taylor is a full connection to all of the wonder of making music,” the producer began in a long Instagram tribute on Friday. “There is a protective layer on the process with her that lets in zero cynicism. Zero. Songs are sacred and the way they sound have to hold the writing in the right home forever. Finding that with her is magic. Running forward on every album is magic. Thank you for not letting up. … Folklore forever. … @taylorswift forever.”