If you’re like me, there are just a couple of things you really, truly miss in life: pre-COVID social gatherings and old Taylor Swift music. Though nobody knows when we’re going to get that first item, the good news is that Taylor Swift has recently dropped a surprise album, folklore, that is reminiscent of the country-pop music we all thrived on back in elementary school. Recorded entirely during quarantine, folklore offers a gentle, earthy tone that deviates greatly from her more contemporary, electronic beat-tinged albums. Lyrics in songs like “the 1” and “seven” feel more controlled, narrative, and honest than we have heard from her since 2010. Tracks like “betty” will immediately remind listeners of the high school romances she once described in beloved favorites “Fifteen” and “Teardrops on my Guitar.”
On folklore, Swift exhibits the chops of a trained storyteller—she writes from the perspective of different characters, in different places, and with different emotions. That said, folklore is different from even her earliest works: it presents a mature Taylor Swift, located somewhere between alternative rock and indie folk. It is simultaneously a breath of fresh air and a sudden, nostalgic plunge into the past. We can certainly hope it marks a new era in the evolving career of Taylor Swift: one in which she blossoms into an artist fully confident in her style and sure of her place in the industry.
Graney is a senior in the College studying English and Studio Art.