Here's Why You Should Care About Taylor Swift's Album Drop

Swifties rejoice! Taylor Swift announced that she would be releasing her eighth studio album Folklore tonight at midnight earlier this morning.

Surprise 🤗 Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my 8th studio album, folklore; an entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into. Pre-order at https://t.co/zSHpnhUlLb pic.twitter.com/4ZVGy4l23b

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 23, 2020

While a new Swift album is always a cause for celebration, the singer rarely surprise releases anything on such short notice. On Twitter, she revealed that she "poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into" this album.

While events like Swift's Lover Fest are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, lockdown and isolation served as an inspiring time for the 30-year-old songwriter. "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," she said in a statement. "I wrote and recorded this music in isolation but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine."

Swift said that the pandemic was part of the inspiration between her surprise releasing the album. "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," she wrote.

Who are those musical heroes you ask? Some are artists that have become familiar presences on Swift albums, like Jack Antonoff, who Swift said is "basically musical family at this point." The Bleachers mastermind has served as a writer and producer for Swift's last three albums. Seeing the songwriting and producing whiz, who's also worked with Lorde, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Chicks and more, is no surprise.

Another artist who seemingly had one of the largest hands in sculpting the album was The National's Aaron Dessner, who has also worked with with R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Frightened Rabbit, Mumford and Sons and more. A noted National fan, Swift wrote that Dessner produced or co-wrote 11 of the album's sixteen songs.

Swift also said she worked with William Bowery and indie folk-pioneers Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, who she said sang on one of the album's tracks.

While this album doesn't seem like it's a return to Swift's pop-country origins, the collaborators listed and the title do harken to a less pop-oriented sound that Swift has embraced since 1989. While it's unlikely that Folklore will be Swift's For Emma Forever Ago, the album recorded in isolation and the album's artwork promise a new and interesting step in the singer's discography. The cottagecore aesthetic that she showed on the various covers for the deluxe releases suggest this may be a straight folk album rather than a pop album.

Universal Music Group, who owns Swift's label Republic Records, did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. Swift announced that she'd release her eighth album at midnight tonight. Getty/Dimitrios Kambouris