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Taylor Swift on course to top charts with surprise album Folklore

She released the record less than 24 hours after she announced it.

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Taylor Swift (Greg Allen/PA)

Taylor Swift (Greg Allen/PA)

Taylor Swift (Greg Allen/PA)

Taylor Swift is on course to claim her fifth UK number one album, with her surprise release Folklore.

The singer’s eighth studio album outperformed the rest of the top five combined, according to the Official Charts update, and was the most downloaded and streamed album over the weekend.

It is solely available in digital formats until it gets a physical release later in the year.

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Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise 🤗Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into. I wrote and recorded this music in isolation but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine; @aarondessner (who has co-written or produced 11 of the 16 songs), @boniver (who co-wrote and was kind enough to sing on one with me), William Bowery (who co-wrote two with me) and @jackantonoff (who is basically musical family at this point). Engineered by Laura Sisk and Jon Low, mixed by Serban Ghenea & Jon Low. The album photos were shot by the amazing @bethgarrabrant. Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed. My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with. Love you guys so much ♥️

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Three songs from the album are on track to debut inside this week’s Official Singles Chart top ten – Cardigan, Exile with Bon Iver and The 1.

The pop superstar announced the album on Thursday, revealing it had been recorded during lockdown, and it was released in the early hours of Friday morning.

The 30-year-old singer, who had been set to headline Glastonbury before it was cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic, said now felt like the right time to release Folklore.

She said: “Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed.

“My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with.”

Swift previously topped the album charts with last year’s record Lover, Reputation in 2017, 1989 in 2014 and Red in 2012.

Ronan Keating’s eleventh studio record Twenty Twenty leads the way on CD sales and is poised to take the second spot on the chart.

The album features a mix of brand-new songs and updated versions of his best-known hits.

Meanwhile Bob Marley and The Wailers’ Legend, is set to take fifth place following a release on picture disc vinyl.

The album has had the second-longest UK top 100 reign behind Abba’s Gold; this week will mark its 936th stint.

Pop Smoke’s posthumous record Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon, is poised to hold steady at three, while Juice Wrld’s posthumous Legends Never Die will slip to four.

Fiona Apple could collect her first UK top ten album this week with Fetch The Bolt Cutters, currently at nine following its release on physical formats, after it debuted at 33 in April as a digital-only release.

PA Media