Taylor Swift lands UK Number 1 with surprise release, ‘folklore’

Swift is the first female artist to score five UK Number 1 studio albums in the 21st century

Taylor Swift’s new album ‘folklore’ has reached Number 1 in the UK album charts.

The surprise album arrived last week (July 24) and saw Swift collaborating with The National’s Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver. The indie-leaning album, a shock move away from her pop roots, has received a string of acclaimed reviews since its release.

The album sold 37,060 copies in its first week in the UK alongside 24,050 streams and 12,152 album downloads, earning Swift the top spot in the charts. It also means Swift is the first female artist to score five UK Number 1 studio albums in the 21st century.

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In the singles chart, Swift also dominated. ‘Cardigan’ debuted at Number 6, ‘Exile’ – her collaboration with Bon Iver – went in at Number 8 and ‘The 1’ at Number 10.

Worldwide, the album has sold over 2 million copies and on Spotify, Swift set the global record for first day album streams by a female artist. The album received almost 81 million streams in 24 hours. It is now one of the biggest selling albums of the year so far.

Much of the album was co-written with The National’s Aaron Dessner, who said Swift had texted him in April to ask if he wanted to collaborate with her. “We were pretty much in touch daily for three or four months by text and phone calls,” he said in a recent interview.

“Some of it was about production and restructuring things but a lot of it was just excitement. We both felt that this was some of the best work we have done.”

Speaking to Pitchfork, Dessner said that he first met Swift on the set of Saturday Night Live in 2014, and that Swift had come to see The National perform last year.

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“She talked a lot with my brother and me. That’s when we realized how much of a fan she was, and how lovely and down to earth,” he recalled. “I don’t know that many people who have that sort of success, so it’s a nice feeling to realize they’re cool. That left a good impression.”

“‘folklore’ feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest. The glossy production she’s lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation,” NME said in a 4 star review of the album.

“It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different. Swift disappeared into the metaphorical woods while writing ‘Folklore’, and she’s emerged stronger than ever.”

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