No one saw this coming! Taylor Swift took to social media early on July 23 to reveal a huge surprise: She's dropping a new album at midnight on July 24, "folklore."
She posted a grouping of photos on Instagram showing herself alone in a forest then explained. "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 8th studio album, folklore," she wrote. "Surprise 🤗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. I wrote and recorded this music in isolation but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine."
Taylor went on to share more information about her collaborators. Aaron Dessner co-wrote or produced 11 of the 16 songs on the new album. Bon Iver co-wrote "and was kind enough to sing on one with me," Taylor wrote, while William Bowery co-wrote two tracks with her and Jack Antonoff "who is basically musical family at this point," Taylor explained.
"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. 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 ♥️," she concluded that post.
Another post revealed all the track titles. "folklore will have 16 songs on the standard edition, but the physical deluxe editions will include a bonus track called 'the lakes,'" Taylor wrote. "Because this is my 8th studio album, I made 8 deluxe CD editions and 8 deluxe vinyl editions that are available for one week😄 Each deluxe edition has unique covers, photos, and artwork. Available exclusively at taylorswift.com."
She's also giving fans some visual candy. "The music video for 'cardigan' will premiere tonight, which I wrote/directed. A million thank you's to my brilliant, bad a– video team," she continued in yet another post, naming everyone who worked on the video.
Taylor made a point to tell fans that the coronavirus pandemic was top of mind when making the project. "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 😂," Taylor shared.