Last night I dreamt I was dashing through thorny brush in a black woodland, bloodying my legs in desperate search of a clearing in the trees. I awakened screaming and also panting, just to realize — it wasn’t a dream. I’d moved permanently right into the woods to stream Taylor Swift’s eighth studio album folklore wright here it deserved to be streamed: in the wilderness.
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Thursday morning, July 23, Swift announced a surpincrease album and also music video were collection to drop that Friday at midnight. Now, after a grueling night of listening, weeping, memeing, and also baring my teeth at a puma that obtained into my meat supply, I’m prepared to comment on. But first, some housekeeping: It should be provided that each song on folklore and also the album title are stylized in lowersituation letters. As a lowerinstance girl myself, the definition of this cannot be underproclaimed.
A lowercase girl texts and articles in lowerinstance letters so regarding show up relaxed; we are the antithesis of thirst, having been terrorized by love shed so many type of times that we can no much longer bear to also seem favor we care enough to text you through proper capitalization. Other noted lowersituation girls incorporate Lykke Li and Ariana Grande, and also Swift and also folklore sit on the shoulder of such chill giants. A lowersituation girl album, like a lowerinstance girl, signifies ambivalence, nonchalance, and unfortunately, a Trojan horse of emotional terrorism. Knowing that, let’s talk about every song on folklore.
We open up with an emotionally disastrous blast to the challenge. “the 1” is a playful yet melancholic doom fantasy of what could’ve been, in which Swift msupplies, “it would’ve been fun, if you were the one.” Personally, I think folklore is a PsyOp, and also “the 1” is the first blow of a 16-piece mental assault intended to break eextremely last person that hasn’t yet been broken by quarantine. “the 1” is simply oiling you up for your very own annihilation.
Released via a music video at midnight Friday, “cardigan” is adorable, and also yet, aobtain, hurtful to especially me: “And when I felt like I was an old cardigan, under someone’s bed, you put me on and shelp I was your favorite.” Here’s what I believe: I believe that “cardigan” is not simply around hurting me personally but is also a lesbian answer to Chris Evans’s cable-knit sweater in Knives Out. As a lesbian via zero interest in Chris Evans, I felt very left out of the sweater discourse last year, and no queer woguy must EVER be left out of sweater discourse. “cardigan” is not just the official sweater of bisexuality (they’re versatile) but the first of many kind of queer-coded songs on folklore.
“the last good american dynasty”
Some have actually theorized that “the last great amerideserve to dynasty,” and its point out of a woguy from St. Louis, is around Swift’s former BFF and rumored ex-girlfriend, Karlie Kloss, who was increased in St. Louis. There’s additionally this lyric, “Rebekah offered up on the Rhode Island set forever before / flew in all her Bitch Pack friends from the city / filled the pool with champagne and also swam through the huge names,” influenced by St. Louis-born debutante Rebekah Harkness, who married the heir to Standard Oil. But you can remember this lyric from Swift’s “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” which was additionally rumored to be around her “friendship” breakup with Kloss: “It was so nice throwing significant parties / Jump right into the pool from the balcony / Everyone swimming in a champagne sea.” A connection?? Possibly. But for me, the most exciting thing about this song is Swift’s refusal to capitalize “american” in the title, which is explicit proof that Taylor Swift is a communist. Fuck Marsha Blackburn! ACAB, comrade!!
“exile” (feat. Bon Iver)
Okay, what’s weird to me is that the “B” and also the “I” are still capitalized in “feat. Bon Iver,” despite eincredibly other letter on the album being lowercase. As a lowersituation swiftie, this is displeasing to me. bon iver: Do you think you’re better than Taylor? You’re better than her album layout, her artistic vision, her ten Grammys? You’re much better than all lowersituation girls??? “exile” is weepy and cinematic in all the ideal methods, yet the visibility of a male on any Taylor Swift album is jarring sufficient. The added blow of bon iver’s blatant disrespect for lowercaseists (additionally known as anti-capitalists) is sufficient to push me over the edge.
“my tears ricochet”
“my tears ricochet” is whatever. “my tears ricochet” is my personality, my religion, my scripture. “my tears ricochet” is the “Delicate” of folklore. It’s what “All Too Well” is to Red. When Taylor said, “And if I’m dead to you, why are you at the wake?” I threw my copy of The Bell Jar in the trash. When Taylor said, “You know I didn’t want to need to haunt you, however what a ghostly scene,” I wrote a scathing testimonial of The Poltergeist on Amazon. When Taylor shelp, “You wear the very same jewels that I gave you, as you bury me,” I released my great-great-grandmother’s jewels right into the sea. These texts, these movies, these heirlooms? They’re no use to me now. There is simply “my tears ricochet.”
The emotional terrorism continues: “I’ve never been a organic, all I carry out is try, try, try, I’m still on that trapeze, I’m still trying everything to keep you looking at me, bereason I’m a mirrorround.” This was incredibly hurtful to me, a mirrorsphere. Yes, this song is likely about Swift feeling favor she needs to mirror eexceptionally version of herself that the public desires her to be, however it’s even more likely around my own individual insecurities, my impostor syndrome, and my insatiable require for approval. The PsyOp is functioning — and I’m not gonna lie— being isolated in the woods without internet or any real life skills for the past 24 hrs … isn’t helping either.
You know what I didn’t should stew around in my self-isolation echo chamber of trauma? The scars of my youth. “seven” is about the pureness of childhood friendship: “I think your house is haunted / your dad is constantly mad and also that need to be why / and I think you need to come live with me / and also we have the right to be piprices, / then you won’t need to cry / or hide in the clocollection.” Like, I don’t need this appropriate currently. I don’t have to remember what it was favor to have my youth ripped from my throat years back or be to nostalgic for childhood emotional wounds. I’m excellent. This song is beautiful — yet I’m great.
In a note to her fans, the inventor of forests created that folklore is a storytelling album for which she permitted her creativity to run wild while in isolation. By this point in the album, it’s clear that Swift is doing what many type of of has actually have actually done during pandemic: dissociating. While we’re all stuck in weird, dark apartments (Swift not included), the just vacations we’re afforded are the ones wbelow we leave our bodies and also live in stories, old journals, happy memories of beaches and also sun-kissed romance and obtaining summertime wine-drunk. “august” is that fugue state: It’s beautiful, evocative, a successful astral forecast.
“this is me trying”
After the high-octane Kids Bop feel of Lover, it’s relieving to hear Swift go back to even more haunting instrumentations. “this is me trying” has swirling strings, subtle horns, and also — not an instrument— but can I just say, Taylor is becoming a reverb bitch. Both “this is me trying” and also “The Archer” from Lover sound like they were videotaped in a musty locker room. This one goes out to all the reverb lesbians — I know you’re out tbelow.
So, tright here is a theory, one that’s probably correct, that “illicit affairs” is one of 3 songs Swift described in a YouTube comment as “The Teenage Love Triangle.” All three songs are created from each perchild in the love triangle’s POV: “illicit affairs” being from the POV of girl who the boy cheated through, “betty” being from the POV of the boy, and “cardigan” being from the POV of Betty. I, yet, cannot check out, and thus carry out not need to accept this as canon (even more on why, and more on “betty,” in a bit). Anyway, “illicit affairs” is about how having an affair and also lying kills you “a million little times.” But as the meme goes, “I ain’t analysis all that. I’m happy for u tho. Or sorry that happened.”
This is everything I desire out of a Taylor Swift song: strings being plucked, colors being painted, and also the saccharine imagery of an “invisible string” pulling two unwitting strangers together. Taylor Swift designed String Theory, which if you didn’t recognize, is the clinical concept that soul mates are bound together by one invisible Swiftian String. Cut to: me in a sphere on my floor, emotionally mangled, happy-sobbing about just how grateful I am that the Swiftian String lugged me and my girlfriend together.
Female rage anthems favor Alanis’s “You Oughta Know” and the Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl” blazed the scorched-earth trail for a song prefer “mad woman” to exist. You have the right to feel Swift’s low-burbling fury leaking with her teeth as soon as she sings, “What execute you sing on your drive home? Do you check out my face in the neighbor’s lawn? Does she smile? Or does she mouth, ‘Fuck you forever?’” This is among Swift’s ideal songs and also a literal misandrist anthem, yet my fear is this: remember once we discovered out “You Oughta Know” was about … Joey from Full House? I’m worried we’re going to discover out “mad woman” is about, choose … Rainn Wilchild. Praying it’s not.
If “my tears ricochet” is to folklore what “Delicate” was to reputation, then “epiphany” is to folklore what “It’s Nice to Have a Friend” was to Lover, in that it’s the haunted doll hiding in your closet of the album. “epiphany” sounds prefer a choral plan of hexed porcelain dolls and also is around witnessing trauma. In Swift’s liner notes, she wrote about her grandfather Dean “landing at Guadalcanal in 1942.” Fair warning: You only need to hear “epiphany” once for it to escape with a cracked mirror, stick to your skin, and sleep beside you in bed each night choose an eldritch spirit.
All of the blood in my body turned to stone at my initially listen of “betty,” which SEEMS to be around Swift’s romance with a girl named “betty,” till she drops the name “James,” and also then we’re expected to assume the song is from the perspective of this “man” called “James.” That doesn’t issue to me bereason, favor I shelp, I can’t read. But certain, let’s pretend for a 2nd that “betty” is from “James’s” POV. Some have actually moffered that Swift was named after James Taylor, and thus James is her, and that Elizabeth is Karlie Kloss’s middle name, and therefore Karlie is Betty. Some have actually detailed that Swift provided the names of her frifinish Blake Lively’s children, James and also Inez, that are both girls, for this song. I don’t care around that. Here’s what I treatment about: You understand what’s gay? Creating a fictional male character and also wearing him choose an outfit to sing a song about kissing a girl. I don’t ever before desire to hear a womale singing around an additional woguy, just to feel duped, favor I’m waking up in Black Swan and also have hallucinated all of the steamy lesbianism. For my full thoughts on “betty” please inspect out my book “betty” which will certainly be released in 70 quantities over the course of the next 40 years. Betty. BETTY.
IMO “peace” is around feeling choose you’re all at once also much and also never before enough and wanting to be through somebody but knowing you’ll damage their life by self-sabotaging and it’s additionally about romanticizing toxic and also messy relationships and also developing fantasies out of doom and gloom and heartbreak. Or something. It’s acquiring dark out and also my meat supply ran out 3 days back.
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The PsyOp of incepting human being on the brink of madness involves a sweeping cshed in “hoax,” in which Swift finally punted me off the bridge of sanity. “hoax” is a song about heartbreak that rips your guts out, type of like as soon as you rip the guts out of a bear, clearing room in its body so you have the right to sleep between its ribs because you’re trapped in an icy tundra without sanctuary. This is what happens in The Revenant, I think — as far as folklore aesthetics go, I identify as more of a Nell bitch than a Revenant slut. Woods-inspired art functions best as soon as helmed by queer (or queer-coded) women (
What Is Eexceptionally Song on Taylor Swift’s Folklore About? Things you buy via our links might earn New York a commission.