Moments after Taylor Swift announced her surprise new album Folklore, the National’s Aaron Dessner — one of her main collaborators on the LP — released a statement on Twitter about the genesis of the project and his contribution.
“I was excited and honored when Taylor approached me in late April about maybe writing some songs remotely together,” Dessner wrote. “I had been isolating with my family but writing a ton of music in the first months of quarantine, which I shared. I thought it would take a while for song ideas to come and I had no expectations as far as what we could accomplish remotely. But a few hours after sharing music, my phone lit up with a voice memo from Taylor of a fully written version of a song — the momentum never really stopped.”
He continued, “I’ve rarely been so inspired by someone and it’s still hard to believe this even happened — these songs came together in such a challenging time.”
Dessner co-wrote 11 of the Folklore tracks with Swift and then recruited fellow National members like Bryan Devendorf and his brother Bryce Dessner — who added “beautiful orchestration on several songs from across the ocean” — from their respective quarantines to help out.
The National co-founder also credited the contributions of Jack Antonoff and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who also co-wrote tracks for Folklore, out this Friday, July 24th.
“I’m very proud of all these songs and profoundly grateful to Taylor for inviting me into and trusting me in her process,” Dessner wrote. “She is one of the most talented, hardworking and deeply caring artists I’ve ever encountered. There’s a palpable humanity and warmth and raw emotion in these songs that I hope you’ll love and take comfort in as much as I do.”
— Aaron Dessner (@aaron_dessner) July 23, 2020
We are incredibly proud of the collaborative work @taylorswift13 & @aaron_dessner have created together on her new album ‘folklore’, with orchestrations from @bryce_dessner. We can’t wait for you to hear it! https://t.co/EF2fWoe6jC
— The National (@TheNational) July 23, 2020