‘Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions’ evokes nostalgia

Taylor Swift reveals insight on album


Fair use from Disney Plus.

Elena Ortiz-Fishman

Released to Disney Plus, “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions” includes stripped-down versions of Taylor Swift’s most recent album. 

Folklore was a surprise album, written and fully produced during quarantine and released in late July. It has received universal attention, becoming well-acclaimed for Swift’s purposeful storytelling and airy vocals. Digging deeper into the process, this documentary shows Swift’s commentary and reflection on her interesting stylistic choices. 

The whole documentary has a cozy nostalgic feel, definitely exuding the comfort of a cottage in the middle of the woods. The way it’s formatted, the focus shifts from Swift’s breakdown of each of the songs chronologically, to a shot of her performing the aforementioned song at the beginning. The film includes some shots from Swift’s home studio but mainly takes place at the Long Pond Studio in Hudson Valley, New York. Using broad drone shots at the studio, the camera pans over the rustic cabin, painting a serene picture. This serves to build the atmosphere, leisurely displaying Swift sitting around different parts of the cabin, mirroring the mood of Folklore. 

After being out of the spotlight for so long, this documentary prioritized bringing Swift’s story forward, solely isolating the way she perceived the album. As the album floats, Swift provides an anchor — her personality and wit becoming well highlighted throughout the intimate setting produced by the film. Swift is a pop sensation and in the documentary her duality is allowed to shine. It was wholly captivating to take a peek inside her mind and see Swift at her most relaxed. 

Finally, we see Swift meet with Antonoff and Dessner, her producer and collaborator. This was her first time seeing them in person, as everything previously had been long-distance. The three of them sat together, discussing the intricate process behind songwriting. Hearing Swift’s first-hand interpretation of the songs changed my view on the album. One of my favorite parts was when Swift discussed how three of her songs were connected — ”Cardigan,” “Betty” and “August” — each an amalgamation of a side, love-triangle narrative.  

Overall, it’s truly impressive how this documentary was executed despite the ongoing pandemic. Instead of being over the top, I found that the casual production worked to heighten the quality of the film. 

“Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions”: ★★★★★