Taylor Swift’s surprise new album, Folklore, drops at midnight tonight, and she’s taking us all for a trek in the woods. Unlike the elaborate, cotton candy-colored branding for her last drop, Lover, last August, the new release features more austere, black-and-white aesthetics. This is Swift’s quarantine album: she wrote and recorded the whole thing at home by herself, working with remote collaborators like Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Aaron Dessner of The National.
“Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen,” Swift wrote on Instagram early 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. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with.”
As lots of us have learned in isolation, feeling cozy is of utmost importance. And Swift wants to help her fans hunker down in style in their own Folklore-branded cardigan. For a cool $49, you get a digital copy of the new album plus a cream colored cable-knit cardigan embroidered with light grey stars and featuring the album title on a patch. It is listed alongside the many “collector edition” album bundles Swift’s currently hawking on her website, as a way to promote physical music sales.
The cardigan is a nifty nod to one of Swift’s new singles, titled “Cardigan.” The merch comes in three sizes, with Taylor herself modeling a small on her website. When you think about it, $49 sounds pretty reasonable for both a sweater and an album, though we have our doubts about how comfy Swift’s cardigan is in practicality, since it’s made from 100% acrylic yarn.
The music video for “Cardigan” will also debut at midnight tonight. Swift wrote and directed it herself, with cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto, who filmed Brokeback Mountain, The Wolf of Wall Street, Argo, The Irishman, and more. No word yet on whether the pop star actually wears the eponymous cardigan in her new video. The only still we’ve been privy to so far features Taylor gazing into some sort of glowing treasure chest. Perhaps it’s filled with magical mothballs or something.