Swift’s new sound


Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2020-07-24/taylor-swift-folklore-top-10-fan-theories#null

In the middle of arguably one of the toughest years yet, Taylor Swift decided to break her fans’ hearts by releasing her new album, Folklore, on July 24. This album is certainly out of Swift’s typical music style. Folklore” has an indiegothfolk sound using primarily an acoustic guitar and a piano. Swift has ventured away from her typical upbeat pop tunes and is exploring a new, mellow sound. 

“Taylor Swift reaches out and expresses a side of herself that is totally different than what we have seen before. These songs are empowering, and it makes me excited to see what she will write next,” Nicole Pullen, senior, said. 

Every song on the album has emotional lyrics and a compelling story, but three songs from the album that stood out to fans were “Betty, “Cardigan, and August.” These songs follow the love story of the fictional characters, Betty and James. “Betty” is told from James’s perspective and tells his story of trying to win Betty back after cheating on herIt is rumored that this closely mirrors some of Swift’s past experiences with Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston. “Cardigan” is told by Betty and captures her disillusionment with James in a sad, lonely tone. The final song to the narrative is “August, and it is an overview of their entire relationshipIt reminisces on their happy times together, but constantly reminds the listener that the relationship was bound to come to a tragic ending. 

“The rawness of this album makes you sympathize with Taylor and all the people she wrote about in her songs. It’s emotional and slow, but I like it,” Natalie Nejad, senior, said. 

Swift’s opening song, “The 1, reflects on a past relationship, saying it would have been fun if he had been the one. Another fan favorite from the album, “The Last Great American Dynasty,” poetically shares the life of the previous owner of Swift’s house, Rebekah Harkness, a divorced “madwoman” who “ruined everything” by challenging society. 

“I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I’ve never met, people I’ve known, or those I wish I hadn’t,” Swift said in a recent Instagram post. 

Lastly, “Exile, featuring Bon Iver, is the most popular song on  the album, and most say it is the most emotional, heart-wrenching song of Swift’s yet. “Exile” is about two ex-lovers who run into each other after their involved relationship has ended. The woman is already moving on and resents the man for still loving her. Both blame each other for the death of their romance. The story is not about who is right, but instead about the uncertainty of what truly happened between them. There is no doubt that each song on the album tackles a tough, depressing story. 

“She uses each song to create a story. Each song conveys these stories in whimsical and beautiful melodies,” Mary Kate Kerlin, senior, said. 

Swift has expressed a love for storytelling her entire career, made apparent by the fact that in just over a year, Swift has released two singles, “Only the Young” and Christmas Tree Farm,” two albums, “Lover” and now “Folklore,” a documentary titled “Miss Americana,” and was in the hit movie, “Cats.” The compelling stories told in Folklore” and Swift’s new music style have drawn fans in and, they cannot wait to hear what is next.