Taylor Swift: The Real Inspiration Behind Her Latest Album ‘Folklore’ And Why It Differs To Her Past Music
Today I’m going to look at the real inspiration latest album from Taylor Swift, ‘Folklore’ and why it differs to her past music. For us mere peasants, the Covid-19 UK Lockdown consisted of binging on junk food and watching back to back episodes of Netflix series. Also going on the occasional run after trying on a pair of jeans which no longer have that “give” they had before. Then realising we aren’t cut out for running, we could just buy new jeans, and beginning the process all over again.
But, for American sweetheart and song-writing mastermind Taylor Swift it was different she gave us ‘Folklore’. Quarantined days were spent writing deep and expressive music. Alongside drinking wine, watching old movies and sending money to fans. That is, according to her Instagram.
On July 23rd she took to Twitter with a post:
“Surprise. Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my 8th studio album, folklore”
A Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter. Swift is well-known in the music industry for her various-styled albums. This young superstar crash-landed into the music scene in 2006. And her life has been a constant rollercoaster ever since, but how much has her life affect her music?
We’re going to take a closer look at the inspirations behind ‘Folklore’ from Taylor Swift. How it compares to some of her older, life-affirming releases that pinpoint her career.
On her new album Folklore Swift tweeted:
“folklore; an entire brand-new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into.”
And how very true that is, Taylor. The album is stunning, filled with stripped-back lyrics and a simplistic indie-folk melody.
I love nothing more than a good story. And Swift’s music tells tales of lost loves, deeply personal turmoil, stolen time and epiphanies, the whole album resembles an epic.
One song in particular that hit me like a freight train, and possibly the most intriguing song I have ever heard, is ‘betty’. Upon the release of the album, Swift professed that she’d created a few specific songs from perspectives of three sides of a high school love affair. The triangle – involving “august” “betty” and “cardigan” – even expresses possible bisexuality. Despite the album’s textual straightness.
Even so, songs such as “seven” truly offer the “folklore” vibe, offering soft, haunting melodies and powerful lyrics.
Also included in her personal essays broadcasted through Twitter. Swift expressed that her ‘imagination had run wild and this album is the result. A collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness.
The album was inspired by her isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak, ‘Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history and memory.’
She even explained her creative process: ‘It started with imagery and visuals that popped into my mind and piqued my curiosity…
The lines between fantasy and reality blur. And the boundaries between truth and fiction become almost indiscernible.
Speculation, over time, becomes fact. Myths, ghost stories and fables, fairytales and parables, gossip and legend.
Someone’s secrets written in the sky for all to behold. It’s a powerful statement to make. And is packed with so many cryptic messages, of her past relationships. As well as shattered friendships, friends she wished she had never met rumours and speculation.
No wonder, then, that the album’s release opened at number 1 on the Billboard charts with a huge 846,000 sales in the US alone. But how did she get to this point in her musical profession?
At the very beginning of Taylor Swift’s career. Way back in 2006. She released a self-titled album jam-packed with her longest-lasting love, country music. Including songs such as ‘Our Song’ and ‘Teardrops on my Guitar’.
The vibe is typical of the genre, relaxing with a slow, foot-tapping beat. It fits perfectly with the album cover which shows a young free-spirited Taylor. With her long curly locks, exactly the image she projected in those initial years stepping into main-stream music.
But, it was clear that Taylor’s innocent portraits of country-bumpkin life were at an end with the announcement of her fourth album, Red. Her 2012 release was evoked by Swift’s encounters with past relationships. It began to unveil the more mature, more independent woman we see today.
The album still contained echoes of her past records. But it was Red that really pinpointed the change, as Swift stated to Billboard: ‘[‘Red’] the song was a true turning point for Red the album.
When I wrote the song my mind started wandering to all the places we could go’. A shift began to take shape in America’s pop-sweetheart, and this was starting to emerge in her music.
As well as her rising all-rounder musical talents. The release of Red and the upcoming tour saw Swift in the limelight for a different reason. Whispers of feuds with other stars started to bubble on the surface.
One of the most well-known being the drama that unfolded with Katy Perry. Supposedly fuelled by an argument surrounding tour dancers leaving the Red tour early to perform on Prismatic. It sparked a huge media following, and the feud was confirmed by Perry’s elusive Twitter reaction.
Although much of Taylor Swift’s music career has centred around her relationships. It was 1989 that cumulated previous intimate details leaked through the years.
If Red was the beginning of Swift’s new outlook on life, then 1989 was her affirming her place as a strong female in the industry. In the aftermath of the release, more feuds were brewing. Including the all-out explosive argument with Kayne West and Kim Kardashian-West.
Enter Taylor Swift’s most dramatic yet, Reputation. This aggressive, salacious album released in 2017 and it was basically a middle finger to all that had wronged her, in pop form.
For example, the lyrics to ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ were so acutely descriptive that an abundance of ‘decoding’ articles filled the internet within hours of its release. From Katy Perry to Kayne West, Swift left no stone unturned with addressing her issues through music.
For some it was pure sass, for others, like me, it was way too ferocious and so not the sweet, talented Swift we all aged with. Thank the lord for her 7th studio album, Lover and the absolute wonder that is her newest release. Taylor, we thought we had lost you for a moment there.
And that was the real inspiration behind the latest Taylor Swift album ‘Folklore’ and why it differs to her past music. If you’re a fan of Taylor, what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
More of our music articles HERE.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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