Just 11 months removed from her last album, Lover, Taylor Swift surprised her fans with her eighth album, Folklore on Friday. Presenting a much faster turnaround than she did with any album in her career, Taylor credited the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting quarantine, and her instincts for allowing her to craft and release the album in an Instagram post that announced Folklore on Thursday morning.
“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,” she said in the Instagram post announcing the album. “My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world.”
Early reaction to the album has clearly made it a success. In under 24 hours, Folklore sold more than 1.3 million copies worldwide according to a press release from her label. The album also broke Spotify’s global record for first-day album streams, with 80.6 million, and became Apple Music’s most-streamed pop album in 24 hours with 35.47 million streams. The album also set the streaming record in the US and worldwide for an Amazon Music Indie/Alternative record.
Coming with 16 tracks, Taylor Swift recruited The National and Big Red Machine’s Aaron Dessner to help write 11 of the album’s songs while William Bowery and Jack Antonoff helped to write the remaining songs. Bon Iver also served as the lone feature on Folklore, appearing on the album’s fourth track “Exile.”