Taylor Swift surprised everyone today by dropping a surprise new album at midnight. Here’s the track listing of Folklore, ranked by our favorite songs so far.
This song is the first on the album, and it’s one of the best. The simple beat leads us into where Taylor mind is at the start of the album. She’s doing her own thing, but reflecting on a lost love. “But it would’ve been fun if you would’ve been the one.”
This whimsical song tells the story of a love that felt like an old cardigan. It was the first music video that premiered at midnight when the album dropped, and shows Taylor hopping into a piano to visit a wonderland, before it turns into a stormy ocean. “And when I felt like I was an old cardigan under someone’s bed, you put me on and said I was your favorite.”
This powerful song is about having a secret relationship, and the toll it takes. “And that’s the thing about illicit affairs and clandestine meetings and longing stares, It’s born from just one single glance but it dies and it dies and it dies a million little times.”
This seems like it must be an ode to her partner Joe, and how all along they were meant to be. We especially love the reference to the colors, and how the string is gold (referencing Daylight on her previous album.) “All along there was some invisible string tying you to me.”
August, the eighth song on the album (clever) is about a lost love. We’re in love with the outro. “August slipped away into a moment in time, ’cause it was never mine”
This vintage-inspired song was co-written by Jack Antonoff and is about accepting a lover for the way they are, “mirrorball” referencing a disco ball. “I’m a mirrorball, and I’ll show you every version of yourself tonight.”
This song features Bon Iver, who actually starts out the song. The lyrics describe the awful feeling of seeing your ex after a breakup. They each share different perspectives of the relationship, and piano keys highlight the heavy lyrics. “You were my crown, now I’m in exile, seein’ you out, I think I’ve seen this film before so I’m leaving out the side door.”
This sweet acoustic number is the story of our main character, seventeen year old James, who had a fling with a girl named Betty. Something unfortunate happens, although she doesn’t tell us what, and James spends the summer thinking about Betty. In typical Taylor Swift fashion, he shows up at her party to try to win her back. “But if I just showed up at your party, would you want me? Would you tell me to go fuck myself or lead me to the garden? In the garden would you trust me if I told you it was just a summer thing? I’m only seventeen, I don’t know anything, but I know I miss you.”
Another autobiographical song, this seems to be about Taylor trying to come to terms with the fact that being her partner will always be tumultuous. The simple tempo and electric guitar on this song hold it together with contemplative lyrics. “All these people think love’s for show, but I would die for you in secret.”
My Tears Ricochet
This song was the first written for the album, and is about a relationship ending. It is reminiscent of Teardrops on my Guitar thematically. “Cursing my name, wishing I stayed, look at how my tears ricochet.”
The seventh song on the album, this is about being seven years old and how beautiful that simplicity is. “Passed down like folk songs, our love lasts so long.”
This Is Me Trying
This ballad is that classic situationship when you’re broken up with someone and trying to figure out how to deal with it. The narrator breaks down, drives to their house, and says, “And I just wanted to you know that this is me trying.”
Taylor highlights the classic paradox with women in society: they are immediately considered “mad” or “angry” or “upset” when they show their emotion. This song highlights the double standard, in a new folksy spin. She also whispers “fuck you forever” in the song, so we’re here for it. “No one likes a mad woman, what a shame she went mad, you made her like that.”
A heartbreaking song, Hoax deals with many themes Taylor has covered in past albums, like believing in someone who lets her down, and the heartbreak of losing love. Her perfectly rhyming lyrics match her soft voice in this song. “Don’t want no other shade of blue but you, no other sadness in the world would do.”
The Last Great American Dynasty
This song highlights Taylor’s unique ability for storytelling within songs. It’s focused on real-life Rebekah Harkness, who was an eccentric woman in the 1900s. The song ends with Swift writing “And then it was bought by me.” She loves highlighting strong, loud and powerful women, and bringing them in to her own story. This song is no exception, and we love it.
The 13th song on the album, Epiphany, is a narrative Swift wrote about her grandfather in the war. It’s a haunting story of the horrors of war, and her voice is soft and eerie. “Only twenty minutes to sleep, but you dream of some epiphany.”
You can stream the album here, and watch the music video for Cardigan below.