Are you ready for it, Swifties?
Taylor Swift has officially dropped her eighth studio album, Folklore, just hours after announcing its existence. Along with the release of the album, T. Swift released a music video for one of her new songs, "Cardigan," which she wrote and directed. As the Grammy winner previously told her fans, "The entire shoot was overseen by a medical inspector, everyone wore masks, stayed away from each other, and I even did my own hair, makeup, and styling."
And for those wondering what inspired "Cardigan", Swift already explained the meaning during a Q&A. "The song is about a lost romance and why young love is often fixed so permanently within our memories. Why it leaves such an indelible mark," she said.
Early Thursday, July 23, Swift took to social media to surprise fans with Folklore. Along with a series of photos showing the 30-year-old star in the woods, she shared with her followers, "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 was her new album.
"Tonight at midnight I'll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I've poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into," she continued, adding that she wrote the songs "in isolation" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"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," Swift told her fans. "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. Love you guys so much."
Swift's new album consists of 16 songs on the standard edition, but as she shared on Thursday, the "physical deluxe editions" will have a bonus track called "The Lakes."
Other songs on the album include titles "The 1" and "This Is Me Trying" as well as "Illicit Affairs" and "My Tears Ricochet."
For Folklore, Swift collaborated with some "musical heroes" of hers, including Aaron Dessner, Bon Iver and Jack Antonoff. The superstar singer also gave a shout-out to a William Bowery on her Instagram Thursday, adding that this person "co-wrote two" songs with her. Eagle-eyed fans have already theorized that this is a pseudonym for Swift's longtime love, Joe Alwyn.
Check out the music video for "Cardigan" above and enjoy Folklore!