The singer's surprise eighth studio album features songs with titles like "Illicit Affairs," "Mad Woman" and "My Tears Ricochet"

By Benjamin VanHoose
July 24, 2020 12:01 AM
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Taylor Swift
Beth Garrabrant

Taylor Swift is back — and nobody can calm down!

At the stroke of 12:01 a.m. on Friday, the Grammy winner debuted a brand-new album, which she announced only hours before on Thursday morning. Titled Folklore, the album — Swift's eighth studio album — is the superstar's follow-up to August 2019's Lover.

The album, which comes with a decidedly moody black-and-white aesthetic for the star's new era, features 16 tracks, with song titles like "Illicit Affairs," "Mad Woman," "The Last Great American Dynasty" and "Betty."

The star, 30, also released a video for her first single "Cardigan" as well as lyric videos for all her new songs.

The rest of the tracklist is filled out with: "The 1," "Exile," "My Tears Ricochet," "Mirrorball," "Seven," "August," "This Is Me Trying," "Invisible String," "Epiphany," "Peace" and "Hoax." Deluxe copies of Folklore also come with the bonus track "The Lakes."

Revealing the "surprise" project on Thursday, Swift noted that a lot didn't go according to plan this year — and this album wasn't even an inkling in her wildest dreams.

Taylor Swift
Beth Garrabrant

"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 eighth studio album, folklore," she wrote. "Surprise 🤗"

The singer/songwriter shared that she "poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings" into her latest crop of music, which she created while self-isolating.

Taylor Swift's Folklore
Republic Records
Taylor Swift
Beth Garrabrant

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"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. "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."

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After dropping her album, Swift posted on Twitter her inspiration behind the fairytale-like video and record.

"In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result. I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve. Now it’s up to you to pass them down," the star wrote.

Folklore is Swift's eighth studio album, following Taylor Swift (2006), Fearless (2008), Speak Now (2010), Red (2012), 1989 (2014), Reputation (2017) and last year's Lover.

Taylor Swift
Beth Garrabrant

Last month, Swift appeared during YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" virtual commencement, encouraging and motivating 2020 graduates to pursue their dreams and make the most of the unprecedented times.

"And I guess one good lesson to come from it is expect the unexpected, but celebrate anyway," Swift said at the time. "I'm so proud of you guys and I hope that you have a wonderful time and are really proud of yourselves."

Folklore is now available wherever you stream music.