Unpacking Taylor Swift’s Huge Debut & Grammy Album of the Year Chances

Taylor Swift
Beth Garrabrant

Taylor Swift

When Taylor Swift’s surprise album Folklore blasted in atop the Billboard 200 chart with the biggest week of the year for any album, she not only did it without the benefit of any pre-release promotion, but also while taking a sonic left-turn away from pure pop and into a more alternative soundscape.

On the latest Pop Shop Podcast (listen below), the team discusses Swift’s epic chart feats achieved with Folklore and its single “Cardigan,” and speculates on if the album would have achieved such great heights if it had been a surprise-released customary pop effort. The Pop Shoppers also chat about on how Folklore may have brought in new fans to the Swift fold, thanks to her collaborations with alt-rock acts like Bon Iver and The National’s Aaron Dessner.

And finally, could Folklore factor into the race for album of the year at the upcoming Grammy Awards? After all, Swift has been nominated three times, and won twice (for Fearless and 1989). However, her last two albums, Lover and Reputation, didn’t make the cut. Could Folklore turn the tide?

In addition to all of the Swift chatter, the latest Pop Shop Podcast episode features an interview with singer-songwriter Alessia Cara. The Grammy Award-winner for best new artist joins the show to discuss her new charity album This Summer: Live off the Floor, why she’s donating all her proceeds from the project to Save the Children, and how the live album puts an “emotional” new twist on her songs. 

The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard's weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard's senior director of charts Keith Caulfield and senior director, music, Jason Lipshutz every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)   

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