Folklore: A review by someone actually familiar with Swift’s work

Folklore: A review by someone actually familiar with Swift’s work

Picture from me and Eryn’s listening party. Rules are that you must show up with a completely blank slate. We sat very seriously staring at the back of her house for a solid hour.

This work is instantly recognizable as a work of Swift’s. She goes back to her roots of telling imagined stories in her songs, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Red, or perhaps even Fearless. It’s the same vivid writing with more mature themes. This her penning the indie record that’s cooler than her. This is her writing an album without the marketing hoopla. Without the terrible lead single from left field. Free from needing it be sonically at home in a stadium, this is the sound of creative freedom. This feels so authentically Taylor but, if you’re only familiar with her radio hits, this collection would be unrecognizable. If you’ve been around since her first eponymous record, Betty will tickle your Taylor loving soul. 

Lover was on repeat for months for me. But recently I had abandoned it completely because I just wasn’t in a Lover mood. Folklore is the album that would have been perfect for all those times I sat crying on my bedroom floor in university. It’s a comforting soundtrack for all those inbetween times. It’s not entirely one vibe or feeling. It’s textured like a life uncurated is. It’s like tears that build up when she walks down the aisle and it really hits you, she’s not yours anymore. A smile whilst recalling someone you lost. Holding your puppy and having the thought that she’ll only be with you for this phase of your life, but it will be her whole life.

I drove home the long way and I was listening to this album, zipping around country roads you can’t see around the bend of, with a goddamn smile on my face. I am here for this album.

Taylor I’m so fucking proud of you.

Here’s my song by song first impressions thoughts:

the 1:

Perfect opener. So many good lines, but currently loving “I thought I saw you at the bus stop, I didn’t though”


This song is me walking through the streets of new york trying to shake off depression

the last great american dynasty:

I thought of Starlight right away. Controversial opinion, but Red is my least favourite TS album. I know, I know. But I scientifically ranked all the songs and albums and it came in last. 🤷‍♀️ So many songs I just find kind of annoying. This is a less annoying Starlight. 


I’m okay that Taylor gave away Better Man now because she kept Exile. It’s also her first collab song that I’m really down for. This song is a masterpiece. 
I don’t know why but this is Speak Now grown up. Life isn’t simple at all. Weddings don’t elicit imagery of pastries and big gowns like you’ve seen in the movies and magazines. You’ve had too many fireside chats with friends so now you also realize there’s the figure in the shadows just outside the big tent. We now know broken relationships are reality. Happily ever after is a myth after all. 

my tears ricochet:

What if your worst enemy was also your greatest love?


I love this. Because it reminds me of the weird vocabulary only those I live with know. A secret language that I don’t even know how to describe phonetically. Everyone has their own, but here are some of mine:

Sky water = rain

magic wind = AC

toilet tiptoes = this song

(My bff and I kept hearing toilet tiptoes on our first listen. What could it mean?! Is it sneaking to the bathroom in the middle of the night? Is it when your toilet is too tall and you’re trying to get into optimal pooping position and you left your squatty potty at your old house?)


I can’t quite put my finger on this one. To me it sounds part Joni Mitchell, part Fleetwood Mac. There’s just something that feels really timeless about this one.


I have an obsession with the month of August. When I saw the tracklist and saw that there was a song called august and had tears well up in my eyes. It was like knowing that she had written All Too Well for me and we knew it was coming. That’s the level of anticipation we’re talking about. 

This song captures so many of the things I adore about August. 

August is capturing a memory in the moment because you know it’ll be one of your most treasured of all time.  August is blue, pink sunsets. Pulling out your cardigan for those cool nights. Drinking too much. Spilling secrets around bonfires. Snuggling up to your summer crush. Daring to do something bold because September will sweep it all away. It’s wild unpredictable loves.

this is me trying:

This is the sister song to HAIM’s Leaning on You.

illicit affairs:

Honestly, she has a song for every situation, every moment, every one.

invisible string:

Okay, so all you snobs who are like, “I liked her back when she was country”. First off, congrats, she’s giving you what you want minus the banjos and mandolins on this whole album. Second, everyone evolves, no one reaches a “final form” – stop with your boxes and judgement, and you might find yourself free.

mad woman:

“And women like hunting witches too, / Doing your dirtiest work for you”


Can we retroactively put this in the credits of Dunkirk? When’s the next historical war film coming out?


If she were to write her eponymous album today… this would be Mary’s Song. This reminds me of listening to her first album as a twelve year old and makes me fall in love with her all over again. But this version is less sugary innocence, and more realistic involving teenagers swearing, summer flings with the wrong girl, and makes me want to dance and yell WEEEEEE into the night, basically.

I hope she writes this into a YA novel SO BADLY.


I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. But it sounds like a song I would fall asleep to.


See above. I would’ve put betty after mad woman and called peace and hoax bonuses. It would make my listening journey a little easier skip-wise? But for real, I get sleepy while driving and peace and hoax aren’t doing it for me…

the lakes:

TS’ genius business brain hasn’t gone completely to sleep. She still wanna get you to buy physical copies of her music, let alone buying music at all in 2020.

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