The Completely Unanticipated TS8 “folklore” Drops at Midnight

folklore coverTS8 = Taylor Swift’s 8th album – translation for the non-Swifties

There was something I was going to post today. Now I can’t remember what it was. There were other things I was going to do today. Now it’s all out the window. I went on Twitter to do…something. I had a purpose opening the page. It wasn’t what I usually go on there for, which is to see if there are any updates from Clare’s season of The Bachelorette that’s filming right now, because I’d already done that earlier in the morning. I think it had something to do with this site, maybe seeing if it was properly linking with Twitter.

But then. My feed was flooded with people talking about something called “folklore” and asking what you were doing when you heard the news, and slowly it came together. Taylor Swift is dropping her new album folklore tonight, at midnight EST (9pm for me!) and also a music video. I don’t know about anyone else, but before this, I’d heard nothing – no rumors, no speculations of her working on new music, nothing at all.

So my mind is blown, and this doesn’t feel real. And I think this is the first time in 2020 that I’m saying that about news I feel happy about and excited for. Amid the gloom and doom that feels more literal and less figurative than ever, people make art. It’s what I’m trying to do in my own life, too. A lot of albums I’ve really liked have come out this year, but I think this is the first one that (we can guess at least) was made during quarantine.

I can’t wait! I love the cover art. There are alternate options to choose from with alternate artwork, and I love a lot of them but my favorite cover is the original one, with all the trees. Probably because I don’t see enough trees in my quarantine life and really, really miss trees. I freaking love trees. And the cover looks moody in a way I really like.

Here’s what I’m making out as the tracklist:

  1. the 1
  2. cardigan (this is the one that gets a music video drop tonight)
  3. the last great american dynasty
  4. exile (featuring bon iver)
  5. my tears ricochet
  6. mirrorball
  7. seven
  8. august
  9. this is me trying
  10. illicit affairs
  11. invisible string
  12. mad woman
  13. epiphany
  14. betty
  15. peace
  16. hoax
  17. bonus track: the lakes

Trying to make some (completely uninformed) predictions off of gut feelings of the titles, I have a feeling I’ll like “august” and “the lakes”. I’ve seen some speculation that “cardigan” is a bit of a follow-up to the scarf from “All Too Well” which even though everyone says it, I do still think is up there as one of her best-written songs, if not the best. So that would be cool.

There’s also the infamous Track 5 trend of putting an especially emotional and lyrically deep song at track 5. This holds from album one if you ask me, with “Cold As You” from her self-titled album, all the way through “The Archer” off Lover. So I’m anticipating having a real connection to “my tears ricochet.” I’m also looking forward to the Bon Iver collaboration and wondering if that sets the mood for the album.

I wonder if it’ll get political. She’s definitely gotten more political lately (and I am HERE FOR IT). I loved seeing that more on Lover, especially “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince” which one article described as “the dystopian sequel to ‘You Belong with Me,'” which description I loved. Just going off titles, maybe “hoax” is a contender for a political song.

My guess (again, unfounded) is that the album might be more moody, maybe even a little somber, contemplative. I’d love that, so I may just be projecting.

Just one final note on the release date. Because as a person who’s played with numerology in the past, I couldn’t help noticing this right away, and tweeted:

I see what she did there.

Remember Lover was released on Aug 23 because “8 + 2 + 3 = I’m obnoxious”?

Welllll, 7 + 2 + 4 also = 13

In about 12 hours, the music, and the music video, will be here. I’ll probably be totally unproductive all day, just waiting for it.

In the old normal world, before we entered the darkest timeline, I was supposed to see her in concert this weekend, in LA, with one of my closest friends. We had sixth row seats (!!!) and I can’t exactly explain it but that particular disruption in my individual life is the thing that gets to me the most about all the disruptions of the pandemic. Corona has upended my life in so many more profound and impactful ways, but this one cuts to the core. Even though it was postponed and not cancelled and so we technically still have sixth row seats for if and when it’s rescheduled. I don’t understand why this disruption, over ones that had much more impact, is the one that gets me most emotionally, but it is. I think it has something to do with wondering if we’ll ever have big concerts like that again.

Oh, and sometime while writing this, I remembered what I was originally going to post about today, and that is my relationship with watching The Bachelor franchise, because a fair amount of my pop culture consumption, especially podcasts, and some of the pop culture I want to spotlight, revolve around that enduring TV franchise so it made sense to me to talk about how I became a consumer of the show and moreso of media related to the show. In many ways, even after so many years, it still feels like an unlikely combination, me and the show.

I wanted to give an intro about that because like many people, I have a complicated relationship with the show. And I don’t think I’ve posted about it before. I wanted to as far back as 2013, for a very specific reason, but I didn’t because Breaking Bad was still on then and I was mostly posting about that and felt like writing about The Bachelor would be too off-brand, so I didn’t. So yes, my  franchise origin story is coming soon, but will have to wait another day.

-April

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