Last week, Taylor Swift ditched her usual lengthy album rollout plan in favor of something quick and easy — and it seems to have paid off tremendously. Just seven days after its release, folklore is already the top selling album of 2020.
According to a press release, the Lover follow-up reigns supreme with over two million sales worldwide. These impressive stats also cement Swift as the only female “to have seven albums each sell at least 500,000 copies in a single week.”
Across the pond, folklore serves as the biggest UK debut for a female artist this year. Historically, she is the “first and only female artist in the 21st century” to score five No. 1 albums in the country.
Swift’s streaming numbers are equally astounding. Globally, her new album has pulled in over half a billion streams on audio and video platforms. On Spotify, she set the global record for first day album streams by a female artist, tallying almost 81 million streams in just a singular 24-hour period.
Was it Swift’s “surprise” rollout strategy that set folklore up for greatness? An updated marketing strategy wasn’t the only new thing Swift adopted for her eighth LP. The pop artist also welcomed prominent indie/folk rock voices into her world, such as Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and the Dessner brothers from The National, who have had nothing but nice things to say about Swift.
Additionally, folklore marks her first album since vowing to be more politically active in the lead-up to the 2020 Presidential Election. The Grammy winner has made good on this promise thus far: she’s strongly endorsed her own local Democratic leaders; donated to LGBTQ+ advocacy groups; and for the very first time, slammed Donald Trump using her very public Twitter platform. In that very concise but stinging tweet this past May, she accused Trump of “stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism” in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Trump responded by saying he liked her music 25% less, but clearly his opinion has had zero effect on the pop powerhouse and her reach.
In her folklore review, Consequence of Sound writer Katie Moulton said that “Swift has come of age, emotionally and sonically, and proven herself — not that she needed to — as not only an exceptionally autonomous auteur but a nimble collaborator with an ever-broadening palate.”
Revisit folklore in full and then head here to snag a copy for yourself.