Taylor Swift Announces Surprise Release of New Album, 'Folklore'

Taylor Swift surprised fans on Thursday when she announced that she will be releasing her eighth studio album, Folklore, at midnight tonight. The singer began teasing a new project early this morning when she shared a series of black and white images to her Instagram feed, which ended up forming a large photo of the 30-year-old standing in a forest.

In a caption, Swift explained that while "most of the things" she had planned for this summer did not happen due to the coronavirus, "there is something" she hadn't planned on "that DID happen" fortunately. "And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore," she wrote. "Surprise." The album will be released at midnight and contains 16 songs on the standard edition and a physical deluxe edition will include a bonus track. To celebrate her eighth studio album, Swift made eight deluxe CD editions and eight deluxe vinyl editions that will be available for one week, each of which have unique covers, photos, and artwork and are available at taylorswift.com.

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Swift wrote that she has "poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into" Folklore and wrote and recorded the project in isolation. She thanked collaborators Aaron Dessner, Bon Iver, Jack Antonoff, William Bowery as well as engineers Laura Sisk and Jon Low and Serban Ghenea and Low, who mixed 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," she told fans. "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."

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In addition to her album, Swift will also release the music video for her song "Cardigan" on Thursday night, which she wrote was filmed with extensive safety precautions in place. "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," she shared.

The Grammy winner's most recent album was 2019's Lover, and Swift was scheduled to headline her Lover Fest this year in the United States along with shows in Brazil and a series of European concert dates this year but announced earlier this year that she was canceling all planned shows for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.