Today marks one year since Taylor Swift dropped her surprise eighth album, Folklore, which would go on to break numerous records and amass a slew of awards. It won the Grammy award for Album Of The Year, broke the Guinness World Record for the biggest opening day in Spotify history for an album by a female act, and became the best-selling album of 2020. In short, times have been good for Swift, and to celebrate the album’s anniversary, she dropped the original version of “The Lakes” as a treat to her fans.
“It’s been one year since we escaped the real world together and imagined ourselves someplace simpler,” the singer wrote in a post about the original song. “With tall tall trees and salt air. Where you’re allowed to wear lace nightgowns that make you look like a Victorian ghost every day & no one will side eye you cause no one is around. It’s just you and your imaginary cabin and the stories you make up to pass the time.” She added, “To say thank you for all you have done to make this album what it was, I wanted to give you the original version of The Lakes.”
During an interview with Billboard earlier this year, Jack Antonoff, who produced the song, spoke about the original version of the song. “On one of my favorite songs on Folklore, ‘The Lakes,’ there was this big orchestral version, and Taylor was like, ‘Eh, make it small,'” he said. I had gotten lost in the string arrangements and all this stuff, and I took everything out. I was just like, ‘Oh, my God!’ We were not together because that record was made [remotely], but I remember being in the studio alone like, ‘Holy sh*t, this is so perfect.’”
You can listen to the original version of “The Lakes” in the video above.