Taylor Swift was able to “escape” to her “daydream space” while working on ‘folklore’.
The ‘Out of the Woods’ singer recorded the record-breaking surprise album in secret during quarantine, with only her boyfriend Joe Alwyn – who is credited as a co-writer under the name William Bowery – her close family and her management knowing outside of the LP’s producers Aaron Dessner of The National and Jack Antonoff.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly before being named one of their Entertainers of the Year, Taylor said: “The only people who knew were the people I was making it with, my boyfriend, my family, and a small management team.”
The 30-year-old Grammy-winner didn’t feel like she was making an album, instead creating ‘folklore’ became a “really sweet, nice, pure part of the world” amid the global health pandemic.
Asked if it was nice keeping the record a secret, she said: “Well, it felt like it was only my thing. It felt like such an inner world I was escaping to every day that it almost didn’t feel like an album. Because I wasn’t making a song and finishing it and going, ‘Oh my God, that is catchy.’ I wasn’t making these things with any purpose in mind. And so it was almost like having it just be mine was this really sweet, nice, pure part of the world as everything else in the world was burning and crashing and feeling this sickness and sadness. I almost didn’t process it as an album. This was just my daydream space.”
Taylor also decided to tear up her rule book she previously abided by, and swore for the first time on ‘mad woman’.
The song addresses the singer’s very public feud with her former record label boss Scott Borchetta, who sold Big Machine records to Scooter Braun – whom Taylor has accused of bullying her – and with it handed Scooter her back catalogue of master recordings, which he then sold.
And the ‘Shake It Off’ hitmaker drops the F-bomb on the track.
Asked if it was the first time she had cursed on one of her songs, she replied: “Yeah. 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.’ But that was one of the times where I felt like you need to follow the language and you need to follow the storyline. And if the storyline and the language match up and you end up saying the F-word, just go for it. I wasn’t adhering to any of the guidelines that I had placed on myself. I decided to just make what I wanted to make.”