Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions by Taylor Swift // Record Store Day 2023

Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions is available for the first time on vinyl as a special Record Store Day 2023 release. It was recorded for a Disney+ special, featuring only Taylor and her collaborators, Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff, at Dessner's studio in New York. The album's liner notes say, "On July 24, 2020, Taylor Swift surprise released Folklore, her 8th studio album. During the Covid-19 lockdown, the musicians recorded separately miles apart while the album was created at Long Pond studio. Taylor and her collaborators were never able to play the album together...until now."

This is an indie record store exclusive released in April 2023 for Record Store Day, which is an event held twice a year to celebrate independent record stores with dozens of new and exclusive music releases special for the occasion. It is limited to 75,000 copies - which thankfully isn't really that "limited" at all. Compared to past Record Store Day releases for Taylor's music, I'm happy they finally pressed enough to meet the high demand her records have. Last year, I was lucky enough to get the very last copy of "The Lakes" single at my local record store and it was very difficult for many to find because there was only a few thousand made worldwide. I bought Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions after waiting in line for nearly an hour and a half for it, but thankfully there was more than enough for everyone there! 

It is pressed on a 2xLP light grey vinyl - for reference, it is very similar to the shade of the "meet me behind the mall" webstore exclusive pressing of Folklore. I love the embossing on the sleeve with the lettering and framing around the cover photo. The paper is also very high quality and different than any other record sleeve in my collection. It isn't a gatefold, which is the only design aspect that I would say was overlooked, especially since there are two discs. It comes with a two-sided insert with the credits and a collage of photos from the Disney+ special on one side and the other a black and white portrait of Taylor. 

I love Folklore so much, it is one of my favorite albums ever and I was so happy to see that this pressing was going to be available for the first time on vinyl. I have watched the documentary so many times and I stream this version of the album so often too, so having a physical copy of it to add to my collection is so exciting. In the documentary, they go into detail about the making of this album and the meaning of every song, which is so inspiring to hear them talk about. I love how intimate the album feels in this live acoustic version, listening to it makes the listener feel as if they are actually there in the studio. 

When it comes to the music, I could go on and on about how much I love every single song on this album, it is a truly perfect beginning to end. "the 1" and "cardigan" continue to be two of my favorite songs she has ever written, I'll never forget the feeling I had when I first heard them. It takes me back to the night Folklore came out, I was literally in tears from start to finish listening for the first time, which is an experience I never had before or since with any album. It came at the perfect time and holds so much sentimentality for me.

I also particularly love all of side B, which features "my tears ricochet", "mirrorball", "seven", "august" and "this is me trying" - they define how special this album is for me. "august" is particularly one of the best songs ever made and I adore this version of it. I always think of how joyous Taylor and Jack were in the documentary when they were playing it! 

Songs like "this is me trying", "epiphany" and "peace" reflect how so much of this album is Taylor at her most vulnerable, the stripped-down instrumentals of the Long Pond Studio Sessions version add so much more raw emotion to the words she's singing. 

An album as magical as Folklore only comes once in twenty lifetimes, The Long Pond Studio Sessions are so beautiful and I'm so happy to finally have it on vinyl! 

While this is my first post about a vinyl release, I have actually been collecting for nearly ten years and hope to turn this into a recurring series of sharing some of my record collection. Out of all the vinyl in my collection, I definitely have more copies of Taylor's music than any other artist, so there will surely be more posts like this to come! Be sure to support your local record stores!

Thanks for reading! I would love for you to check out some of my other Folklore and Taylor Swift posts linked below! 

All photos are my own!

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