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67 Thoughts and Takeaways from Taylor Swift’s Folklore: the Long Pond Studio Sessions

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein

grabbed five GRAMMY nominations on Tuesday and announced that she'd be releasing a documentary on Disney+ on Wednesday. A pretty eventful week packed into two days really.

Related: 63rd Annual GRAMMY Nominees + Reactions

folklore: the long pond studio sessions offers a look at Swift's massive surprise 2020 album alongside co-creators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner and goes into the stories behind the songs, offers some surprises of its own, and gives us performances of the songs from folklore that have been so well received by fans, critics, and now the GRAMMYs.

Related: Taylor Swift, folklore Album Review

I watched the documentary and took (lots of) notes as I went, capturing thoughts and ideas about what was being said and how I felt and what I heard. And those thoughts are in the list in this post. However, just like an album, there are going to be things said that connect more to me than to other people and there are going to be things that connect more to other people than they do to me.

So, if you've watched folklore: the long pond studio sessions on Disney+ and you have thoughts or takeaways that I didn't include - leave a comment and let us know.

But first, the trailer.

67 Thoughts and Takeaways from Taylor Swift's folklore: the long pond studio sessions

* The doc is not available on the children's profile on our Disney+ - interesting... there must be swears?

* 1 hour 46 minutes is longer than I expected.

* 5 GRAMMY noms attached to the album for Swift's work on folklore + Jack Antonoff's recognition as producer - not bad at all!

* There are no coincidences with Taylor Swift, so the timing of this coming the day after GRAMMY noms seems deliberate. But I'm still here for it.

* 8 studio albums into her career and this is the first time she's recorded in a home studio.

* There are swears included in dialogue (that explains it not being on the kid's menu).

* In-studio doc recorded/filmed September 2020 - pandemic times still in effect, I hope they were all safe and it was a skeleton crew.

* This doc performances were the first time everyone played the songs together in a room. Welcome to remote working.

* Long Pond Studio is located in Hudson Valley, NY and it looks lovely.

* The label (Universal) wasn't told until a week before release... yikes.

* And they were onboard... thank goodness. But really, would they have told Taylor Swift no?

the 1

* Here we go, swears included in lyrics ("shit").


* I love this album.

* They really seem like they are enjoying themselves, without it being over-the-top and outrageous.

the last great american dynasty

* Invoking country music songwriting when talking about the last great american dynasty.

* I hear the country story they were talking about - but it's not all the way county and I'm all in on the hybrid.


* William Bowery is Joe Alwyn (Taylor's bf). Confirmed. 100%. Even if already known or thought or supposed, now we know for sure.

* Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) performed off-site in Eau Claire, WI due to the pandemic.

* Holy shit he's good on this track

my tears ricochet

* The conversation with Jack about the song is deep. Deeper than I expected. But very welcome. And I like that it is here.


* The idea of being 'on' is real and scary and tiring and being able to connect with an idea or a song is important and makes all art special.

* This album doesn't need to be stripped-down because it's already so minimalistic, but even knowing that it still feels like a special or unique experience to be coming from Taylor Swift who embraced so much of the pop production machine.


* "And though I can't recall your face, I still got love for you" is a real one.


* I'm laughing at Jack talk about working with T. Swift and her process.

* Listening to Taylor talk about Betty and James and Augusta ('the other girl') is a storytelling wonder. I love it.

* I'm really enjoying the energy on this song and in her performance.

this is me trying

* Addiction talk, mental health, just trying your best in life - which is important and needs to be normalized and I'm here for it.

* I thought Taylor was going to cry when she was talking about all that.

* Life is hard. It's hard to do the right thing all the time or do a good job or get it right - but please know that your best on any given day is all I am asking for or hoping for from you, and if you can't do that today, try again tomorrow. xx

illicit affairs

* Interesting to hear her talk about being able to feel like it was time to write songs that weren't about her personal life.

* I wish so much I could have been in that room.

* "For you I would ruin myself, A million little times"

★ invisible string

* Fate becoming the driving force behind song and life and thoughts... I get it.

* The guitar talk, the refurbed late-50s guitar with the rubber bridge... I don't know anything about guitars, but they sound like it's special to them and I like it when people are passionate about things they know and love.

* It just struck me, listening now that there aren't lush background vocals and I don't miss them, even though they can add so much. Just Taylor's voice is doing the job that these songs call for.

67 Thoughts and Takeaways from Taylor Swift’s folklore: the long pond studio sessions
mad woman

* "This is a song about female rage" before she ever wrote a line she knew it. That's a strong starting point!

* Bringing up gaslighting is also important because we're learning more and more about it and seeing it and calling it out.

* Is she talking about Scooter Braun with this convo about things???

* Silent F-bomb... noted. Though artistically it does fit the lyric "Or does she mouth, "Fuck you forever?"

* She's giving more face and getting into the feelings and words on this one.


* She wanted strings and to try something... and so she did

* The idea of the silence after war always hits me. The soldiers that fought and lived and came home and couldn't or wouldn't tell their stories never really stopped fighting it seems - including Taylor Swift's grandfather.

* Comparing those ideas and witnesses the hardest times with front line health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic is heavy - but ya, damn, it fits.

* This song is beautiful. It's also incredibly heavy.


* Talking about the trilogy of betty, august, and cardigan. It's a movie with three acts waiting to be made maybe. And maybe we can also the last great american dynasty?

* Written with Joe, the "wow" moment that he had this in him and then working together.

* Waiting to see if we're going to get the F-bomb, or if that really is the line you can't cross on Disney.

* I love that this song went to country radio (with the edit).

* F-bomb blanked out. There's the line.

* This is what Taylor's early country career might have sounded like if she had been 30 instead of 15 when she wrote those songs.

* And it makes me hope we do get another country album (or two or three or more) from Taylor Swift before her career is over.


* "This is serenity, this is peace" that's a big thing for music to be able to make you think. I love that about music.

* "I think this is a song that is extremely personal to me because there are times when I feel like, with everything that's in my control I can make myself seem like someone who doesn't have an abnormal life" - Look, I know that it's easy to look at celebrities and not allow them any sadness or hurt or even awkwardness because they have so much - but I can't actually imagine living that lifestyle with people wanting something from me all the time and not actually caring if I'm okay.

* Aaron talking about depression is vulnerable and personal and good on him for going there. Good for him.

* She says this album isn't the same kind of persona that her previous work has been... but this one feels like it is. And that's okay. No complaints.

* The visuals of the studio and the surrounding area make me want to run away and spend some time out in the country like where I grew up.

67 Thoughts and Takeaways from Taylor Swift’s folklore: the long pond studio sessions
★ hoax

* The idea that you can write about more than one idea in one song ( hoax) means wrapping your head about things in a different way. And hearing that it was work and trying something different and uncomfortable is interesting to hear. And interesting is important and I like it too.

* I love the sound of pretty piano pieces.

the lakes

* Yay! We're getting the lakes too!

* Jack - "You've been writing about getting out forever." Maybe someday she'll just be gone and happy and done. And I'd miss music from her, but anyone that can find happiness should find happiness.

* "I wanted to come in with the real last song of the record." - Sneaky and the making everyone wait. And dang.

* This is a song about running away and being done, just like she said and it includes taking the most important person with you and it's about peace instead of chaos and all the rest of it.

* 17 tracks in and as much as I've liked the stories and ideas and thoughts - it's the album and these songs that still resonate with me and make me already want to just hit play on folklore as soon as the documentary ends.

* "And that oughta do it."

* "Whiskey?" yes ma'am. Please.

* It's over now. And I'm going to go hit play on the album.

Taylor Swift, folklore

67 Thoughts and Takeaways from Taylor Swift’s folklore: the long pond studio sessions

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