Swift and her collaborators on the album — The National’s Aaron Dessner, Jack Antonoff (Bleachers) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) — secretly recorded it earlier this year, thousands of miles apart from each other. They had never been in the same room together until they filmed the “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions” special.
In September 2020, Swift and the rest of the album’s personnel assembled for the first time together at Long Pond Studio in upstate New York (where The National recorded “Sleep Well Beast”) to perform all 17 songs on the album in order. The film will premiere exclusively on Disney Plus on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 12:01 a.m. PT. (Watch it here.)
In addition, the music from “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions” will be available on streaming services at the same time (Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. PT).
Swift made the surprise announcement on social media Tuesday. “Well it’s 11/24 and 24-11=13 so I’ve got an announcement. You haven’t seen this film before” — an allusion to the lyrics in the song “Exile” — she wrote on Twitter. The number 13 is, famously, Swift’s lucky number.
Well it’s 11/24 and 24-11=13 so I’ve got an announcement 🤓 You haven’t seen this film before ✨ folklore: the long pond studio sessions will be out tonight at midnight PST on @DisneyPlus! #folkloreOnDisneyPlus pic.twitter.com/BTWSRM0yaI
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 24, 2020
“It’s an album that allows you to feel your feelings, and it’s a product of isolation,” Swift says in the trailer for the film. Antonoff remarks that he “never worked on an album like this,” to which Swift replies, “I was so glad that we did, because it turned out that everybody needed a good cry — as well as us.”
The release of the “Folklore” film on Disney Plus comes on the heels of Swift’s trio of wins at Sunday’s American Music Awards, including the top Artist of the Year laurel. (She also broke her own record for the most-ever AMA wins.) On the telecast, Swift explained that she couldn’t attend the AMAs because she’s re-recording her entire Big Machine catalog, as she does not have the rights to the masters for her first six albums.
Earlier this year, Disney Plus added Swift’s “City of Lover” Paris concert special after it aired on ABC, but that rolled off the service after about a month.
Swift directed “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions,” which was filmed on six Panasonic Lumix S1H mirrorless cameras with Leica lenses embedded in the studio, along with a one Arri Alexa LF with an Angenieux 24-290 lens on a Furio robotic camera with more than 30 feet of curved track.
Watch the trailer for “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions”: