Taylor Swift Reflects on Making 'Folklore': 'There Are No Rules Anymore'

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In the last few years, we’ve really seen Taylor Swift come into her own.

She’s become increasingly outspoken about social justice issues and politics, even calling out Trump for his blatant lies and support of white supremacy.

And one result of this growing confidence was her latest album, Folklore, which is unlike anything she’s ever done before.

Taylor worked on the album during quarantine and while she originally planned to wait until 2021 to drop it, she ultimately decided, fuck it! And so, the album came out July 2020.

For fans, this was a welcome surprise. But for Taylor, it was the beginning of breaking all the rules. In her chat with Paul McCartney for Rolling Stone, she said,

“I used to put all these parameters on myself, like, ‘How will this song sound in a stadium? How will this song sound on radio?’ If you take away all the parameters, what do you make? And I guess the answer is Folklore.”


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She added,

“I just thought there are no rules anymore.”

Taylor said that she even started using words that she always loved, but never dared to include in her music.

“I was using words I always wanted to use — kind of bigger, flowerier, prettier words, like ‘epiphany,’ in songs. I always thought, ‘Well, that’ll never track on pop radio.'”

She continued,

“But when I was making this record, I thought, ‘What tracks? Nothing makes sense anymore. If there’s chaos everywhere, why don’t I just use the damn word I want to use in the song?'”

The album certainly came out at a time when many of us needed it most. In July, we were all quarantined, scared shitless — hell, we’re still scared shitless. But folklore was comforting. As Taylor said,

“There’s so much stress everywhere you turn that I kind of wanted to make an album that felt sort of like a hug, or like your favorite sweater that makes you feel like you want to put it on.”

We think we’ll go listen to ‘Betty‘ and cozy up in our cardigans now.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.