Taylor Swift has celebrated one year passed since the release of her Grammy-winning Folklore album by giving fans an anniversary gift: an alternate, "original" version of bonus track The Lakes that has a more elaborate arrangement by co-writer/co-producer than the previous recording did.
"It's been one year since we escaped the real world together and imagined ourselves someplace simpler," Swift wrote on her social media accounts. "With tall tall trees and salt air. Where you're allowed to wear lace nightgowns that make you look like a Victorian ghost every day & no one will side eye you cause no one is around. It's just you and your imaginary cabin and the stories you make up to pass the time. To say thank you for all you have done to make this album what it was, I wanted to give you the original version of 'The Lakes.' Happy 1 year anniversary to Rebekah, Betty, Inez, James, Augustine, and the lives we all created around them. Happy Anniversary, folklore."
The existence of an alternative version had recently been brought to light in an interview with Antonoff in which he said that Swift had nixed his original production of the song. In a cover story in Billboard, he said, "On one of my favorite songs on Folklore, The Lakes, there was this big orchestral version, and Taylor was like, 'Eh, make it small.' I had gotten lost in the string arrangements and all this stuff, and I took everything out. I was just like, 'Oh, my God!' We were not together because that record was made (remotely), but I remember being in the studio alone like, 'Holy s-t, this is so perfect.'"
While July 24 marks the first anniversary of Folklore, it's not actually the first anniversary of The Lakes being heard. It was a bonus track that was held back for the first physical editions, i.e., a CD version, being released in early August of 2021. – Reuters