Here's everything we know so far.

Claire Harmeyer
July 23, 2020 6:52 am
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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin, Getty Images

In today's edition of "What world are we living in?" the queen of pop just shocked us all by dropping perhaps her biggest bomb yet—and that's really saying something. Taylor Swift is releasing her eighth studio album, titled folklore, at midnight tonight. The singer is known for building up her album releases with public appearances, multiple music videos, sometimes as many as four singles, and constant hint-dropping that sends Swifties into frantic Easter egg hunts. Remember last summer when the date of Lover's release, August 23rd, was so highly anticipated that it started to feel as big as Christmas day? Well, this summer is different. Do we dare ask, is the old Taylor dead—again?

Swift announced the news on Instagram this morning, July 23rd. She posted nine cryptic images of trees that built into one giant image when viewed on her Instagram grid. (So, she did include some of her trademark mysteriousness.) But to cap off the post, Swift separately posted the photo in its entirety, which shows the singer in an oversized plaid coat standing in a forest, looking up wistfully. She explained the root (pun intended) of her unexpected new music in the caption.

The album cover of folklore has elements of classic Tay—moody and dramatic—but gone are the rose-tinted glasses, glittery leotards, and rainbow hair. Swift is the master of reinventing herself—as Reputation clearly displayed—so it shouldn't come as a surprise that her next album appears to be entirely different from the colorful and starry-eyed Lover. But, like, we're still in utter shock that this is happening. Swift was supposed to be performing in purple sequin dresses at Lover Fest this summer, after all.

In her caption, Swift called out the musicians she collaborated with on folklore, which include The National's Aaron Dessner, Swift's longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff, and Bon Iver. These new musical partners combined with Swift's new black and white aesthetic and the album title, duh, lead us to believe her eighth feat might be, well, folksy.

Because she always comes out with a bang, Tay posted another photo sharing the entire tracklist.

And, Swifties, today might actually be better than Christmas, because folklore will include a whopping 16 songs, and a bonus track titled, "the lakes."

To dive straight into speculation about the song titles, as Swifties do, it looks like folklore will address politics with "the last great american dynasty" and quarantine with "exile." We also can't ignore the second track, "cardigan," which reminds us of past songs when Swift has packed symbolism into clothing (a scarf or haunted glove, anyone?)

To top off Swift's massive announcement, the music video for "cardigan" will also premiere tonight at midnight. The video marks Swift's second time putting on her director's hat, following her debut with "The Man" earlier this year. The star also did her own hair, makeup, and styling for the video, which was filmed safely during quarantine.

We're nearly out of breath after relaying all of this exciting news. As 2020 has already shown us, anything can happen—even Taylor Swift unexpectedly dropping an album.