If You Loved Taylor Swift's Folklore, Check Out These 10 Albums Next
Just 11 months after the release of her angelic Lover, Taylor Swift dropped Folklore, a fresh collection of songs full of enchanting melodies, captivating lyrics, and plenty of easter eggs. The superstar's newest project leans closer to alternative music than anything she's done before, and for many of her fans, this may be their fist step into the world of soft, indie music too. While a masterpiece in its own right, Swift is hardly the first to do this genre well.
If you're looking to dive deeper into this style, I've rounded up a collection of other great artists and albums I think you'll love just as much. Take a listen, and let's all curl up in atmospheric, acoustic whimsy together.
Placeholder by Hand Habits
The stylized all lowercase track names and black and white album covers are not the only two similarities between Hand Habits' Placeholder and Swift's Folklore. Both albums feel delicate and suspended somewhere between instinct and deep deliberation. Standout numbers include the title track "Placeholder" and the emotional "Jessica."
Are We There by Sharon Van Etten
This critically acclaimed 2014 album by Sharon Van Etten is another example of a body of work that feels like so much more together than any one song on its own. Van Etten created a stylistically similar record to Folklore full of emotional lyrics, resonant soundscapes, and calming melodies. Pitchfork even included Are We There in their list of the 200 Best Albums of the 2010s.
Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers
Punisher is Bridgers's second album, released only a little over a month before Folklore. Notable tracks include "Kyoto" and "I See You," the two singles from the project. However, "Graceland Too" has a particularly soothing narrative and haunting quality fans of Swift will love.
Bad Habit by Your Smith
While technically not an album, this EP by Your Smith needs to be added to your Spotify queue ASAP. The title track, "Bad Habit" has an ethereal quality similar to Folklore favorites such as "My Tears Ricochet" and "Mad Woman." Layered vocals that seem to unfold over the listener are another similarity between the two projects. While other tracks on Bad Habit are a little more energetic, they're sung with a soft touch and lyrical mastery Swift fans will connect with.
The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
While less alternative leaning than others on this list, The Nashville Sound is a perfect combination of country, folk, and indie influences that plays beautifully from top to bottom. Released in 2017, the album includes familiar themes such as love ("If We Were Vampires"), identity ("Last of My Kind"), and heartbreak ("Chaos and Clothes") that are prominent in Swift's records as well.
Bird Songs of a Killjoy by Bedouine
Bird Song of a Killjoy by Bedouine is the type of album that makes me want to cover myself in blankets and sit in complete solitude while I soak up every story and sound. In other words, perfect for quarantine. "One More Time" and "Sunshine Sometimes" are a few personal favorites.
MassEducation by St. Vincent
The all piano version of St. Vincent's MassEducation, this calming, but lyrically complex, album will leave you feeling the same type of introspection that Folklore does. Many of the songs on the MassEducation were written with Jack Antonoff, who cowrote and produced quite a few tracks on Swift's album as well. Fans may also recognize the product of a three-way collaboration between Swift, Antonoff, and St. Vincent as fan-favorite "Cruel Summer" off of Swift's Lover.
Clean by Soccer Mommy
The triumphant debut record Clean by Nashville native Soccer Mommy (Sophie Allison) is packed full with elements bound to draw Swift fans in. Allison reclaims vulnerability and infatuation to create sometimes blunt, always empowering numbers. If the soft guitar strums and smooth vocals don't do it for you, the relatability of her plainspoken lyrics will seal the deal.
For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
It would be hard to not include Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) on this list, especially after he's featured on "Exile" off of Folklore. I thought it would be appropriate to bring back this work of art from 2008 packed with raw emotion and falsetto vocals. Coincidentally enough, like Folklore, For Emma, Forever Ago was also recorded in isolation.
Crushing by Julia Jacklin
Last but certainly not least comes Crushing by Sydney native Julia Jacklin. Like Swift, Jacklin crafts dreamy, graceful music influenced by pop, folk, and country roots. Swift fans will love the emotionally driven, allegorical tracks such as "When the Family Flies In" and "Convention."