Folklore is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It was a surprise album, released on July 24, 2020, through Republic Records. Swift conceived Folklore in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic as “a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness” out of her imagination, and collaborated with producers Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff virtually. Departing from the upbeat pop elements of its predecessors, Folklore consists of mellow ballads driven by neo-classical instruments, pursuing indie folk, alternative rock and electroacoustic styles. With storytelling rooted in escapism and romanticism, the album explores fictional narratives featuring characters and story arcs, in contrast to the autobiographical tone of Swift’s previous projects. The album’s title was inspired by the singer’s desire for the music to have a lasting legacy akin to folk songs, whereas its artwork and aesthetic reflect cottagecore.