Taylor Swift teams up with “heroes” the National and Bon Iver for surprise new album, Folklore

Taylor Swift performs in Omaha, Nebraska in 2013
(Image credit: Christie Goodwin/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)

Taylor Swift is one of the biggest influences on young players picking up the guitar today - leading some to even question whether she’s the new Eddie Van Halen. And we have particularly high six-string hopes for what's next from the superstar, as she partners with with fellow guitarists Bon Iver and the National’s Aaron Dessner for surprise new album, Folklore.

Swift co-produced and co-wrote the studio effort, her eighth overall, primarily with Dessner, and it features Vernon alongside longtime Swift collaborator Jack Antonoff.

The album will premiere tonight, at midnight EST.

Writing on Instagram, Swift said, “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 continued, “Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into. I wrote and recorded this music in isolation but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine; @aarondessner (who has co-written or produced 11 of the 16 songs), @boniver (who co-wrote and was kind enough to sing on one with me), William Bowery (who co-wrote two with me) and @jackantonoff (who is basically musical family at this point).

“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. Love you guys so much.”

See more

In a statement on Twitter, Dessner wrote, “I was excited and honored when Taylor approached me in late April about maybe writing some songs remotely together. I had been isolating with my family but writing a ton of music in the first months of quarantine, which I shared.

“I thought it would take a while for song ideas to come and I had no expectations as far as what we could accomplish remotely. But a few hours after sharing music, my phone lit up with a voice memo from Taylor of a fully written version of a song — the momentum never really stopped.

“I’ve rarely been so inspired by someone and it’s still hard to believe this even happened - these songs came together in such a challenging time.”

Folklore is available for pre-order, in a variety of CD and vinyl editions, at taylorswift.com.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.