On the same night she released her eighth studio album, the 30-year-old singer dropped the beautifully magical music video for track No. 2, "Cardigan." Written and directed by Swift, the video was filmed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the singer even doing her own hair, makeup and styling.
The video begins with the blonde beauty playing the piano in a rustic cabin before climbing into the piano itself and emerging in a fantastical world of waterfalls and overgrown trees.
Soon she's transported into the middle of a storm-battered ocean, where she hangs onto her floating piano for dear life. Eventually, the same magic that took her on her amazing journey returns her to the rustic cabin where it all began.
Swift teased early Thursday that she'd be dropping the music video for "Cardigan" to coincide with the release of Folklore.
"A million thank you’s to my brilliant, badass video team - cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, producer Jil Hardin, executive producer Rebecca Skinner, AD Joe 'Oz' Osbourne, editor Chancler Haynes, special effects wizards David Lebensfeld & Grant Miller, and set designer Ethan Tobman," she wrote on Instagram. "The entire shoot was overseen by a medical inspector, everyone wore masks, stayed away from each other, and I even did my own hair, makeup, and styling."
Shortly before the album dropped, Swift answered questions from fans, and shared, "Shooting this in quarantine was surreal. We adhered to every guideline. We had masks, gloves & face guards. Masks & distancing are mandatory in my life, it's what I do & everyone should too."
She also reflected on the meaning of "Cardigan" itself, explaining, "The song is about lost romance and why young love is often fixed to permanently within our memories. Why it leaves such an indelible mark."
Folklore follows 2019's Lover, which included hits like "Me!" featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, "I Forgot That You Existed," "The Man" and "You Need to Calm Down."
"[It's] an entire brand new album of songs I've poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into," she teased on Thursday. "Before this year I probably would've overthought when to release this music at the 'perfect' time, but the times we're living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed."
"My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world," she added. "That's the side of uncertainty I can get on board with. Love you guys so much."