|I have never been a huge fan of Taylor Swift’s music. I have never hated it but have never felt impassioned to talk about it on the site, especially when she’s so ubiquitous that most people will have already made their minds up about her music.|
I have however always listened to her work. It has gained rave reviews and I’ve found it all to be great examples of modern pop, with exceptional production, but nothing that got its teeth into me.
That was until the latest album Folklore, which has really grabbed me. I think this is due to the choice of collaborators on the record; in particular the production work of Aaron Dessner, whose work – both as a composer for film and in The National – I have always loved.
It’s the production and instrumentation that elevates this album into something that should be heard by any music fan even if you have always avoided Taylor Swift before.
Instrumentally, Folklore is lead by piano and guitar, but with that usual cool slightly melancholic otherworldly sound that elevates the work of The National. It gives dramatic power to Taylor Swift’s lyrics, which have always been strong but have often felt a bit weightless under a more traditional pop presentation.
That strength continues with the addition of Bon Iver as a guest on this track Exile. It’s a great example of the sound design found on the album, It interweaves with a tried and true duet structure.
Piano leads the track and is gently accentuated with strings that slowly grow into a dominant emotional force towards the tracks conclusion.