'Cardigan': Taylor Swift releases new music video shot while social distancing

The track is the first single from the singer's eighth studio album, which dropped in a surprise release on Thursday

Taylor Swift did her own hair and make-up in the music video for 'Cardigan'. YouTube
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She's released dozens of music videos in her time, but Taylor Swift's latest one was shot in a rather different environment.

The American singer, 30, unveiled the video for her brand-new track, Cardigan, on Friday, July 24.

The clip, which accompanies the first single from Swift's newly released eighth album, was filmed in the midst of the pandemic.

The Grammy winner thanked on-set medics in the credits of the video, as well as crew members for wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and practising social distancing.

"A special thank you to our on set medics, Covid-19 compliance personnel and the crew for operating under the strictest guidelines including wearing PPE, practising thorough sanitisation and respecting social distancing during the video shoot," the credit stated.

"The entire shoot was overseen by a medical inspector, everyone wore masks, stayed away from each other, and I even did my own hair, make-up and styling," the star added on social media ahead of the video's release.

The video features Swift, with no supporting cast members, being magically transported to a fantastical woodland as she clambers through her piano, like a musical version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

The singer also finds herself stranded at sea with her piano before she returns home after her adventure.

Swift wrote and directed the video, which had amassed more than 400,000 views within 30 minutes of its debut.

The Love Story singer also revealed that her new album, Folklore, was created as a result of staying home during the coronavirus crisis.

"In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness," she wrote on Instagram on Friday, July 24.

"Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history and memory. I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder and whimsy they deserve."

The artist had announced the surprise release of her eighth studio album on Twitter on Thursday, July 23, with the record dropping at midnight.

The release comes less than a year after her last album, Lover, was released, in August 2019.

Swift revealed that the new release was a surprise even to her, saying, "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", which is the creation of the album.

It's otherwise been a year of unfortunate cancellations for the artist.

In April, the singer cancelled all her tour dates for the remainder of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Swift had already called off a number of international appearances, including a headline slot at Glastonbury, the British Summer Time's concert in Hyde Park, and nine other European festival dates.

"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," Swift's statement continued.

"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."