Home Uncategorized Here’s What Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ Collaborators Are Saying About Her New Album

Here’s What Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ Collaborators Are Saying About Her New Album

When Taylor Swift comes calling, it’s hard to say no, which might explain why the pop superstar appears to have taken a hard left into the land of indie/folk rock with the list of collaborators on her upcoming surprise eighth album, Folklore.

The 16-track effort recorded during the COVID-19 lockdown was announced on Thursday (July 23), and will be in Swifties’ ears by midnight in the quickest album release turnaround in the singer’s career.

One of the most surprising bits of news was that, after working with mostly mainstream pop and country producers for much of her career, Swift collaborated on 11 of the album’s 16 tracks with The National’s Aaron Dessner. The songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist of the beloved Cincinnati-bred band has worked with acts such as Lisa Hannigan, Frightened Rabbit, Local Natives and Sharon Van Etten in the past. But given his main band’s dark, knotty vibe, his deep dive with Swift was as unexpected as the album’s rapid-fire release.

That’s why it was no surprise Dessner was elated to reveal his part in crafting this top-secret project, as were some of the other musicians who participated in the sessions. Check out what they had to say about getting drawn into Swift’s orbit.

Dessner

“I’ve rarely been so inspired by someone and it’s still hard to believe this even happened — these songs came together in such a challenging time.”

View this post on Instagram

I was excited and honored when Taylor approached me in late April about maybe writing some songs remotely together. I had been isolating with my family but writing a ton of music in the first months of quarantine which I shared. I thought it would take a while for song ideas to come and I had no expectations as far as what we could accomplish remotely. But a few hours after sharing music, my phone lit up with a voice memo from Taylor of a fully written version of a song — the momentum never really stopped. Over the next few months, we remotely finished 11 songs (She also recorded several others with the amazing @jackantonoff) of her magical new album “folklore”. I’ve rarely been so inspired by someone and it’s still hard to believe this even happened — these songs came together in such a challenging time. It wouldn’t haven’t been possible without so much help from first and foremost my engineer Jon Low (@heyjonlow). And my brother @brycedessner’s beautiful orchestration on several songs from across the ocean. Justin (@blobtower) helped to write and sing a beautiful song and so many other friends from our community contributed brilliantly from their respective isolation — Ben Lanz (@lanzprojects), Bryan Devendorf (@postmoderndrummer), Bryce Dessner, @claricejensen, Dave Nelson (@dnelnelson), James McAlister (@900x), @jasontreuting, Josh Kaufman (@kaufyismynamo), JT Bates (@floortomjtbates), Kyle Resnick (@kresnick), Rob Moose (@mooserob), Thomas Bartlett (@tingalayo), and Yuki Numata Resnick (@kiyukiyukiyuki) — More on them later! I’m very proud of all these songs and profoundly grateful to @taylorswift for inviting me into and trusting me in her process. She is one of the most talented, hardworking and deeply caring artists I’ve ever encountered. There’s a palpable humanity and warmth and raw emotion in these songs that I hope you’ll love and take comfort in as much as I do. Album art by @bethgarrabrant.

A post shared by Aaron Dessner (@aarondessner) on Jul 23, 2020 at 5:10am PDT

Bryce Dessner, arranger

“Very happy to have orchestrated a bunch of songs on this amazing new album.”

The National

“We are incredibly proud of the collaborative work @taylorswift13 & @aaron_dessner have created together on her new album ‘folklore’, with orchestrations from @bryce_dessner.”

We are incredibly proud of the collaborative work @taylorswift13 & @aaron_dessner have created together on her new album ‘folklore’, with orchestrations from @bryce_dessner. We can’t wait for you to hear it! https://t.co/EF2fWoe6jC

— The National (@TheNational) July 23, 2020

Jon Low, engineer

“It’s hard to believe what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time especially working completely remotely. Even in extreme isolation this dream crew couldn’t have been more trusting and inspiring the entire way.”

Dave Nelson, producer/horn player

“Big congrats to Aaron and the team! So honored to be a part of it.”

View this post on Instagram

Big congrats to Aaron and the team! So honored to be a part of it. #Repost @aarondessner ・・・ I was excited and honored when Taylor approached me in late April about maybe writing some songs remotely together. I had been isolating with my family but writing a ton of music in the first months of quarantine which I shared. I thought it would take a while for song ideas to come and I had no expectations as far as what we could accomplish remotely. But a few hours after sharing music, my phone lit up with a voice memo from Taylor of a fully written version of a song — the momentum never really stopped. Over the next few months, we remotely finished 11 songs (She also recorded several others with the amazing @jackantonoff) of her magical new album “folklore”. I’ve rarely been so inspired by someone and it’s still hard to believe this even happened — these songs came together in such a challenging time. It wouldn’t haven’t been possible without so much help from first and foremost my engineer Jon Low (@heyjonlow). And my brother @brycedessner’s beautiful orchestration on several songs from across the ocean. Justin (@blobtower) helped to write and sing a beautiful song and so many other friends from our community contributed brilliantly from their respective isolation — Ben Lanz (@lanzprojects), Bryan Devendorf (@postmoderndrummer), Bryce Dessner, @claricejensen, Dave Nelson (@dnelnelson), James McAlister (@900x), @jasontreuting, Josh Kaufman (@kaufyismynamo), JT Bates (@floortomjtbates), Kyle Resnick (@kresnick), Rob Moose (@mooserob), Thomas Bartlett (@tingalayo), and Yuki Numata Resnick (@kiyukiyukiyuki) — More on them later! I’m very proud of all these songs and profoundly grateful to @taylorswift for inviting me into and trusting me in her process. She is one of the most talented, hardworking and deeply caring artists I’ve ever encountered. There’s a palpable humanity and warmth and raw emotion in these songs that I hope you’ll love and take comfort in as much as I do. Album art by @bethgarrabrant.

A post shared by Dave Nelson (@dnelnelson) on Jul 23, 2020 at 8:39am PDT

Jason Treuting, percussionist

“This was very fun to be a part of. Thanks for bringing me in the mix @aarondessner.”

View this post on Instagram

This was very fun to be a part of. Thanks for bringing me in the mix @aarondessner . . . . . . . Repost from @aarondessner – I was excited and honored when Taylor approached me in late April about maybe writing some songs remotely together. I had been isolating with my family but writing a ton of music in the first months of quarantine which I shared. I thought it would take a while for song ideas to come and I had no expectations as far as what we could accomplish remotely. But a few hours after sharing music, my phone lit up with a voice memo from Taylor of a fully written version of a song — the momentum never really stopped. Over the next few months, we remotely finished 11 songs (She also recorded several others with the amazing @jackantonoff) of her magical new album “folklore”. I’ve rarely been so inspired by someone and it’s still hard to believe this even happened — these songs came together in such a challenging time. It wouldn’t haven’t been possible without so much help from first and foremost my engineer Jon Low (@heyjonlow). And my brother @brycedessner’s beautiful orchestration on several songs from across the ocean. Justin (@blobtower) helped to write and sing a beautiful song and so many other friends from our community contributed brilliantly from their respective isolation — Ben Lanz (@lanzprojects), Bryan Devendorf (@postmoderndrummer), Bryce Dessner, @claricejensen, Dave Nelson (@dnelnelson), James McAlister (@900x), @jasontreuting, Josh Kaufman (@kaufyismynamo), JT Bates (@floortomjtbates), Kyle Resnick (@kresnick), Rob Moose (@mooserob), Thomas Bartlett (@tingalayo), and Yuki Numata Resnick (@kiyukiyukiyuki) — More on them later! I’m very proud of all these songs and profoundly grateful to @taylorswift for inviting me into and trusting me in her process. She is one of the most talented, hardworking and deeply caring artists I’ve ever encountered. There’s a palpable humanity and warmth and raw emotion in these songs that I hope you’ll love and take comfort in as much as I do. Album art by @bethgarrabrant.

A post shared by jason treuting (@jasontreuting) on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:36am PDT

Josh Kaufman, guitarist

“In between domestic quarantine tasks I managed to play some guitars and harmonica on @taylorswift new album, Folklore! I’m SO proud of my old friend @aarondessner and grateful for his continued support and creativity.”

Rob Moose, violinist/string arranger

“Feeling very lucky to have been a part of this album, Folklore. I arranged and recorded the strings on ‘Hoax,’ and part of ‘The Last Great American Dynasty,’ a song I have not been able to get out of my head since.”

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