taylor swift folklore review

Your Cute Little Guide to Taylor Swift’s ‘folklore’

I’m a sucker for Taylor Swift. Her writing, specifically. But I’ve never been an avid Swiftie.

That is, until her 2020 ‘folklore’ album caught me off guard. It was everything I never expected from Taylor Swift. It was everything my indie folk-soul was craving. And I knew I had to dissect every single track. Look for my own deeper meaning, if you will.

So, throw on your cardigan, and let’s all sob together.


How Every ‘Folklore’ Song Pleased My Little Heart


“The 1”

Oh, the sweet bittersweetness that comes with moving on. You leave things behind, you grow, you carry on. But, on some occasions, your mind still wanders off to the past. And you’re no longer bitter about it.

The number 1 reminds me of clean slates. It’s all about sweet new beginnings. ?



There’s something beautiful about being someone’s love.

A girl named Betty was in love. Now she is heartbroken. She wants to be his love again. And being in love feels exactly like being wrapped up in your favorite old cardigan. 


“The Last Great American Dynasty”

The peculiar tale of Rebekah Harkness. It could very well serve as a story of every woman who ever dared to be loud.  And it just goes to show how we form opinions about people who are constantly in the spotlight. Some suburban mum is filling her pool with wine, but who’s gonna talk about that, right?

I like to think of this melody as an invitation to a Holiday House ball. Women with madness entrance only.


“Exile” (ft. Bon Iver)

Add Bon Iver’s voice to any song, you get an emotional masterpiece.  It beautifully blends with Taylor’s. We get a failed relationship and we get two perspectives. One lover who couldn’t see the signs and the one who could see it coming.

I’m in love with the entire ‘folklore’ album, but this one could be my favorite.


“My Tears Ricochet”

We’re five tracks in and it keeps getting better and better. Have you seen the 2019 movie “Marriage Story”? Well, Taylor has.

In case you need a good cry of relief, this is the song for you.



Such a reflective gem. Reflective and strong. It’s what happens when “Shake If Off” grows up. It shows Taylor’s maturity and how much she’s changed over time.

Delightfully written coming-of-age song. A heart-warming ode to self-growth and human vulnerability.



It never ceases to amaze how wholesome ‘folklore’ is.  Call someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. That’s all this song wants you to do.



Like track #7, this jewel was my 2020 summertime go-to song. It’s a history of a love triangle that spreads through “cardigan”, “august”, and “betty”. In “cardigan”, we learn that James and Betty are no longer together. There was another girl.  Now the other girl tells her part of the story.


“This Is Me Trying”

This one hit me deep. Perfectly describing what a lot of people have felt in the past year. Very heavy and cathartic at the same time. So devastating but so healing. It feels like therapy.  

In the moments when you don’t have any words to explain your inner struggle, this melody brings you comfort. ?


“Illicit Affairs”

That charming indie tune. Otherworldly lyricism. There it is. Taylor Swift can even make cheating sound graceful. It’s almost like watching a well-written TV drama.


“Invisible String”

I don’t really believe in soulmates, but, man… This song makes me want to change my mind. It’s a sentimental reflection on the bumpy journey that brings you to your true love. Talking less about past love drama and more about real commitment. It’s another sign of Taylor’s growth.

If Taylor’s happy, I’m happy. Period. 


“Mad Woman”

I want this played at my funeral. It’s all I have to say.



If 2020 was something, it was an epiphany. A wake-up call, if you will. It made me realize some stuff, be grateful for what I have, and appreciate the people in my life more. I hope you were able to count your blessings as well.

I get teary-eyed every time I hear these words. We’ll all be listening to this for many more years to come.



Harmonica sounds. Yes, baby, You had me at hello. 

And I have to admit, it was hard not to skip all the songs after “august” to get here. And I just want to hug James and tell him that it gets better.

This is the end of a delicate teenage love story. I can’t stop to wonder what could’ve become of Betty, James, and Inez.



Have you listened to “invisible string” yet? I repeat: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn are soulmates. ?



The ‘folklore’ album comes to a full circle with another example of Taylor Swift’s mind-blowing songwriting. The last song is a circle of unhealthy love. A love that has seen pain and misery. The never-ending question of whether you should give up or stick it out.

And when the time is right, you move on. And you’re no longer bitter about it. (then you put “the 1” on)


“The Lakes”

I don’t even know how many times I’ve already gotten all fuzzy listening to this Taylor Swift album. The bonus track is an adorable reference to her boyfriend. It’s overflowing with all the proper things: love, poets, lakes, muses.


Taylor Swift Is a Sad Song Genius

For about an hour and 7 minutes, I was away. On some other planet. Taylor Swift’s songs are heaven. And my heart is so full. 

Call me a Swiftie from now on. I’m no music expert, but I know what I love. And I adore this woman.

“No other sadness in the world would do…”

Cover photo: by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash