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Entertainment Weekly: Taylor Swift "broke all her rules" with "Folklore"



  • Co-writer William Bowery is revealed to be her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.  He helped write the chorus for "Betty," which is about a love triangle, and she says, "Jack Antonoff would text me these articles and think pieces and in-depth Tumblr posts on what this love triangle meant to the person who had listened to it. And that's exactly what I was hoping would happen with this album."

  • During quarantine, she began watching a lot of movies, which caused her to ask herself, "Why have I never created characters and intersecting storylines?  There is something a little heavy about knowing when you put out an album, people are going to take it so literally that everything you say could be clickbait."

  • She says, "I have this weird thing where, in order to create the next thing, I attack the previous thing. I don’t love that I do that, but it is the thing that has kept me pivoting to another world every time I make an album. But with this one, I still love it.  I'm so proud of it. And so that feels very foreign to me. That doesn't feel like a normal experience that I've had with releasing albums."

  • She kept the album a secret, even from her closest friends.

  • When asked about using "Fuck" on the album, she said, "Every rule book was thrown out. I always had these rules in my head and one of them was, You haven't done this before, so you can't ever do this. 'Well, you've never had an explicit sticker, so you can't ever have an explicit sticker.'...I'm not blaming anyone else for me restricting myself in the past. That was all, I guess, making what I want to make. I think my fans could feel that I opened the gate and ran out of the pasture for the first time, which I'm glad they picked up on because they're very intuitive.

  • In regards to Biden winning the presidency: "I was on a video shoot, but I was directing, and I was standing there with my face shield and mask on next to my director of photography, Rodrigo Prieto. And I just remember a news alert coming up on my phone that said, "Biden is our next president. He's won the election." And I showed it to Rodrigo and he said, "I'm always going to remember the moment that we learned this." And I looked around, and people's face shields were starting to fog up because a lot of people were really misty-eyed and emotional, and it was not loud. It wasn't popping bottles of champagne. It was this moment of quiet, cautious elation and relief."

  • "August" was the first song she wrote for the love triangle songs.  "This is from the perspective of a girl who was having her first brush with love. And then all of a sudden she's treated like she's the other girl, because there was another situation that had already been in place.  As humans, we're all encouraged to just be cool and just let it happen, and don't ask what the relationship is — Are we exclusive? But if you are chill about it, especially when you're young, you learn the very hard lesson that if you don't define something, oftentimes they can gaslight you into thinking it was nothing at all, and that it never happened. And how do you mourn the loss of something once it ends, if you're being made to believe that it never happened at all?"

  • When she discussed "This is Me Trying," she said, "I was feeling in 2016, 2017, where I just felt like I was worth absolutely nothing. And then, the second verse is about dealing with addiction and issues with struggling every day. And every second of the day, you're trying not to fall into old patterns, and nobody around you can see that, and no one gives you credit for it. And then, the third verse, I was thinking, what would the National do? What lyric would Matt Berninger write? What chords would the National play? And it's funny because I've since played this song for Aaron, and he's like, 'That's not what we would've done at all.' He's like, 'I love that song, but that's totally different than what we would've done with it.'"

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Tags: taylor swift
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