Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Taylor Swift released her eighth studio album, Folklore, on July 24. As her eighth album, fans have seen her music evolve since 2006, the beginning of her music career. From humble roots in a country style of albums Fearless and Speak Now, to the release of well known pop hits such as “Love Story” and “Shake It Off”, fans worldwide have heard it all. Folklore, with its daringly fresh 17 tracks, represents a new indie-rock taste from the beloved musician.
The second track in the album, “Cardigan”, has amassed over 47 million views on YouTube within two weeks of its release. As the song progresses, Swift’s voice feels like a gentle echo, a neutral tone among the usually bright songs of past albums. With each new verse, a soft fade develops, until it builds to the main climax, the chorus. The vocals are powerful, yet blurred. Compelling, yet with the care of eloquence.
I can recognize the voice of the person that sang the songs we all danced to a decade ago. But the music here has taken the form of an alternative, indie, individualistic turn. This is a new side to Swift that we are witnessing, one that ventures from the norm of her music. I was especially drawn to the song “Exile”, which features Bon Iver. Hearing their voices intertwine and accompany the emotive feeling of the lyrics, I became sure of the eminence this album should receive.
Folklore is a culmination of carefully crafted words, vocals and music that truly does have an impact on an audience. The emotional range of this album is what awards it its prominence in music culture.
Ronnie Volman is an associate editor at The Incandescent Review. She is a former staff writer for The Nexus, her high school’s newspaper. In her free time, she likes to hike, read novels, and watch Netflix.