Even when she turns her back on pop, everything Taylor Swift touches invariably turns to gold.
Taylor Swift’s eighth album, Folklore, was released with just 24 hours notice last Friday, breaking listening records and delighting critics.
According to his record label Republic Records, 1.3 million copies of the album, which sees the former country and a pop star take her music on an indie-folk tangent, were sold within 24 hours of its release.
That’s a remarkable score at a time when albums are hardly selling at all.
At Spotify, Folklore shattered a brand previously owned by Ariana Grande’s Thank u, next, amassing 80.6 million views in one day for a female artist. It was also the best debut for any artist for a 2020 album on the streaming platform.
Folklore also set new records on Apple Music and Amazon Music. Three songs, Cardigan, The 1 and Exile are expected to make their way into the top 10 on the UK singles chart and Swift is expected to sweep everything under the sun when Billboard’s US charts are released.
In addition to commercial success, the music press has also been very successful. The critics are unanimous in their praise of Folklore. On the Metacritic website, which assigns a rating to each album by compiling the reviews, Folklore scored 93%, one of the best scores of the year.
Previously, Taylor Swift’s top-rated album was Lover, last year at 79%.
“The best album of his career” is a phrase that has been repeated several times in the glowing reviews published since Friday.
When TS’s imagination goes wild
Fully composed in a few weeks during the pandemic, Folklore is an unexpected adventure in indie territory for Taylor Swift. To carry out her project, she teamed up with Aaron Dessner, a member of The National.
“During the lockdown, my imagination went wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness,” the star explained on Instagram.
On social networks, Dessner revealed that the singer had approached him at the end of April, which meant the duo had composed and recorded 11 of the 16 tracks on the album in a very short space of time.
“I thought it would take a while to come up with song ideas and I wasn’t expecting anything to be accomplished remotely,” Dessner says, “I thought it would take a while to come up with song ideas and I wasn’t expecting anything to be accomplished remotely. But a few hours after we shared music, my cell phone turned on and it was a voice memo from Taylor of a full version of a song. The momentum never slowed down after that.”