Updated on Aug 2, 2020. Posted on Jul 27, 2020

    10 Indie Albums You'll Definitely Love If You Can't Stop Listening To Taylor Swift's "Folklore"

    If you loved Folklore, you'll love these albums just as much.

    As you know, Taylor Swift released an album over the weekend titled Folklore that she recorded during quarantine. She co-wrote some songs with The National's Aaron Dessner and enlisted Bon Iver's Justin Vernon to sing in one of the songs, "Exile."

    Taylor has always been a fan of folk and indie rock/pop, but this is her first time making an album that's heavily indie-adjacent.

    Though many of her fans love The National and similar indie artists and bands, there are still some who consider Folklore their entryway for indie. If you're one of those fans and are craving similar albums that are just as stunning, here are some you definitely need to check out.

    1. Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers

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    Why you should listen: Phoebe has been dubbed by some of her fans as the "emo Taylor Swift" and many want her to collaborate with Taylor too. Her songs are so enchanting and she has an innate ability to write story-rich songs that invite listeners into her world. Punisher will definitely stick with you.

    Standout tracks: "Garden Song," "Kyoto," "Punisher," "Chinese Satellite," and "I Know the End."

    2. Historian by Lucy Dacus

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    Why you should listen: Lucy Dacus is one of the best indie folk artists out there. While both of her solo albums are worth checking out, this one feels more rooted in the topics that Taylor is known for writing about. In this album, Lucy addresses a past love, looking back at how their relationship faltered. "Night Shift" in particular is one of my all-time favorite breakup songs.

    Standout tracks: "Night Shift" and "Historians."

    3. Rooms with Walls and Windows by Julie Byrne

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    Why you should listen: Julie Byrne is a very underrated indie folk artist and this album in particular is one of the most gorgeous records I've ever heard. Her songwriting style is different and more abstract than Taylor's. But, like Taylor's songs in Folklore, each song immediately takes you to a serene, comforting space. Songs like "Holiday" will surely win over Swifties.

    Standout tracks: "Wisdom Teeth Song," "Attached to Us Like Butcher Wrap," "Holiday," and "Prism."

    4. Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers by The National

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    Why you should listen: Other die-hard The National fans might recommend records like Trouble Will Find Me or High Violet, but as a fan, I strongly believe that Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers is their most similar to Taylor's music. It's dramatic and lively, with songs about complex romances. Plus, "Patterns of Fairytales" in particular is very reminiscent of Taylor's songs. Here's a preview of the lyrics: "So I'm turning on the stereo/And I'm lining up the names/On the mixes I made before you/And I'm turning into fairy tales/With glitter and some glue/Everything we ever planned to ever do."

    Standout tracks: "Murder Me Rachael," "Thirsty," "Sugar Wife," "Trophy Wife," "Patterns of Fairytales," and "Lucky You."

    5. Retired from Sad, New Career in Business by Mitski

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    Why you should listen: There's a reason why Mitski has become one of the biggest indie artists out there, with her name on nearly every festival lineup (pre-pandemic, of course). Like Taylor, Mitski has a mind-blowing ability to tap into feelings that are so difficult to express, writing songs that help people feel seen, particularly when it comes to matters of the heart. This album's a great starting point to get into Mitski, and while it sounds very different from Folklore, Taylor fans will surely enjoy it.

    Standout tracks: "Goodbye, My Danish Sweetheart," "Because Dreaming Costs Money, My Dear," "I Want You," "Square," and "Strawberry Blond."

    6. More Adventurous by Rilo Kiley

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    Why you should listen: Before Taylor Swift, there was Rilo Kiley. Jenny Lewis became an indie legend for penning extremely relatable songs about her personal experiences, including very raw, witty songs about painful romantic experiences. (And yes, Jenny and Taylor do have a past love in common: Jake Gyllenhaal.)

    Though More Adventurous is very different from Folklore, Jenny takes a very similar approach, combining autobiographical songs with compelling fictional stories. Also, "Portions for Foxes" has been one of my favorite songs for a decade and it's an anthem for anyone who's fallen for someone completely wrong for them.

    Standout tracks: "It's a Hit," "Does He Love You?," "Portions for Foxes," "I Never," "More Adventurous," and "A Man/Me/Then Jim."

    7. Infinite Worlds by Vagabon

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    Why you should listen: Laetitia Tamko, who goes by the stage name Vagabon, is an absolutely talented songwriter and her voice is incredible. This album may have a different feel from Folklore, but it taps into similar themes. It features absolutely stunning songs about processing the end of a relationship.

    Standout tracks: "Fear & Force" and "Cold Apartment."

    8. Masterpiece by Big Thief

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    Why you should listen: As its title suggests, this album is hands down a masterpiece. Adrianne Lenker paints pictures with her writing, taking listeners on a journey through past loves. And that voice!!! I'd love for Taylor and Adrianne to eventually collaborate, and if you listen to this album, you'll understand why.

    Standout tracks: "Masterpiece," "Vegas," "Real Love," "Lorraine," "Paul," and "Velvet Ring."

    9. Burn Your Fire for No Witness by Angel Olsen

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    Why you should listen: Angel Olsen has become the queen of "sad girl indie," and this album is a great introduction to those who haven't had the pleasure of having a good cry to her music yet. It's gorgeous, solemn, and though it has a more pessimistic look at love, it'll surely win over some Taylor fans.

    Standout tracks: "Unfucktheworld," "Forgiven/Forgotten," "Hi-Five," "High & Wild," and "Windows."

    10. Seven Swans by Sufjan Stevens

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    Why you should listen: Many reviews have likened Folklore to Sufjan's album Carrie & Lowell, but I actually think it sounds very similar to Seven Swans, too. If you haven't listened to either, definitely listen to both, though I think this is a good one to start with. It's absolutely breathtaking.

    Standout tracks: "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands," "The Dress Looks Nice On You," "To Be Alone with You," and "Abraham."