Taylor Swift drops 'original version' of 'The Lakes' to mark one-year anniversary of Folklore
This is "the 1"... year anniversary of Folklore, and Taylor Swift celebrated it in typical fashion: with new music.
The musician marked one year since the release of her Grammy-winning surprise album by dropping an alternate version of Folklore bonus track "The Lakes," billed as the "original version." The track features more elaborate orchestral arrangements courtesy of producer Jack Antonoff, which Swift ultimately decided to strip out of the song.
"It's been one year since we escaped the real world together and imagined ourselves someplace simpler," Swift wrote on social media. "With tall tall trees and salt air. Where you're allowed to wear lace nightgowns that make you look like a Victorian ghost every day & no one will side eye you cause no one is around."
"To say thank you for all you have done to make this album what it was, I wanted to give you the original version of The Lakes," she continued. "Happy 1 year anniversary to Rebekah, Betty, Inez, James, Augustine, and the lives we all created around them. Happy Anniversary, folklore."
Folklore arrived unexpectedly on July 24, 2020, with Swift announcing the record just hours before its debut. Recorded and released in the midst of quarantine during the pandemic, the album received a rapturous response from fans and critics alike, topping the Billboard 200 and becoming 2020's best-selling album just over a week after its release. It shattered numerous sales and streaming records while drawing acclaim for Swift's songwriting and its indie-folk production.
"Swift explodes the expectations of anyone preparing to call her music 'diaristic,' writing songs from different perspectives while putting her already-detailed work under a microscope," Maura Johnston wrote in EW's review of the album. "Folklore mostly abandons Lover's festival-sized splendor for songs that reveal more facets with repeated listens."
"Early in quarantine, I started watching lots of films," Swift later told EW of the album's creation. "Consuming other people's storytelling opened this portal in my imagination and made me feel like, Why have I never created characters and intersecting storylines?"
"The Lakes" was not included on the original streaming release of the album; it was included as a bonus track on physical copies of Folklore and dropped on streaming later in August 2020.
Swift's next re-recorded album, Red, is set to arrive in November.