Taylor Swift Releases “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions” Documentary

Image/ New York Times

Image/ New York Times

Katie Gillis, Feature Editor

Almost every album that Taylor Swift has released has been prefaced by months of hints, waiting and cleverly-planned release tactics. However, when Swift announced her newest album, “Folklore,” just one day before its release on July 24, fans were left shocked and confused. Their questions about how to decipher her lyrics were left unanswered, until Nov. 25, when “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions” was released, giving fans insight into how the “Folklore” album came to be.  

Like the album, the Folklore documentary was announced just the day before its release and was a complete surprise to fans. It was released to Disney+ at midnight on November 25, just before Thanksgiving. The documentary follows Swift along with Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff, the album’s other producers, as they perform all 17 songs from the album, discuss their creative processes and reveal secrets about the album. 

One of the biggest things Swift revealed was that her boyfriend of four years, Joe Alwyn, helped her write the songs ‘betty’ and ‘exile.’ Previously, he was credited under the alias “William Bowery,” but after finding no information about him online, fans began to wonder who he might be. Swift finally revealed Alwyn to be Bowery’s true identity during the documentary. 

The documentary was filmed at the Long Pond Studios in Hudson, New York. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Swift, Dessner and Antonoff were unable to meet in person to record the album and instead did it entirely virtually. Their meeting at the Long Pond Studios was their first time recording music together in person since the album’s release. 

“Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions” is much more mellow compared to her last documentary, Miss Americana, which explored her coming to terms with fame, her political views and the cruelty of the music industry. The Folklore documentary was filmed at a remote cabin by a single camera person, rather than an entire crew, giving the documentary an intimate feel. 

In addition to the documentary, Swift released a live version of “Folklore” using the recordings from the documentary, titled ‘Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions (From The Disney+ Special).’ In the past, Swift has released live albums from concerts, however, because of the pandemic, she has not been able to perform her latest album at a concert, so the Long Pond Studio recordings are a great alternative. The live album is available on streaming sites like Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube.