The pop superstar released the new album at midnight, barely 24 hours after announcing to the world that it was coming.
Accompanying the release is an elegant essay, a primer, for Taylor’s new album that she produced in isolation.
It’s a “collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness,” she writes.
Read the full explanation of Swift below.
“It started with pictures. Images that came to my mind and that piqued my curiosity.
Stars drawn around the scars. A cardigan that still carries the scent of loss twenty years later. The battleships sink into the ocean, down, down, down. The tree is swinging in the woods of my childhood. Muffled sounds of “run away” and never do. The month of August bathed in sunshine, sipped like a bottle of wine. A mirrored disco ball hovering over a dance floor. A bottle of whiskey beckons. Hands held through plastic. A single thread that, for better or for worse, binds you to your destiny.
Soon these images in my head grew from faces or names and became characters. I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I have never met, people I have known or those I wish I hadn’t had. . An exiled man walking on the cliffs of a land that is not his, wondering how it all happened so terribly, terribly wrong. A bitter executioner showing up at the funeral of his fallen object of obsession. A 17 year old boy standing on a porch, learning to apologize. The Lovestruck kids roam up and down the evergreen High Line. My grandfather, Dean, landing in Guadalcanal in 1942. A misfit widow who happily takes revenge on the town that chased her.
A tale that becomes folklore is one that is transmitted and whispered. Sometimes even sung. The boundaries between fantasy and reality blur and the boundaries between truth and fiction become almost indistinguishable. Speculation, over time, becomes a fact. Myths, ghost stories and fables.
Fairy tales and parables. Gossip and legend. Someone’s secrets written in the sky for all to see.
In isolation, my imagination was unleashed and this album was the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness. Taking a pen was my way of escaping fantasy, history and memory. I told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder and whimsy they deserve.
Now it’s up to you to pass them on. “