Taylor Swift has done it again. Evermore, her second surprise album of 2020 following the release of folklore, has already taken the world by storm.
Her ninth studio album overall, evermore was announced on Swift’s Instagram only a day before its Dec. 11 release date. Since then, the album has taken the number one spot on Billboard’s album chart, selling more than a million copies globally in its first week.
Swift introduced the album as the “sister record” to folklore, as it follows the same indie sound, piano-driven melodies, and poetic lyrics where the beauty of these albums truly lie. Swift taps into her storytelling talents to narrate both fictional and nonfictional stories that are nothing less than heartbreaking.
The album was produced by the same brilliant minds of folklore: Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner, and Swift herself; and written by Swift, Antonoff, Dessner, and William Bowery, the pseudonym for Swift’s boyfriend, British actor Joe Alwyn.
“…We just couldn’t stop writing songs,” the singer captioned her Dec. 10 Instagram post. “…it feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or to travel further into the forest of this music. We chose to wander deeper in.”
The album begins with the lead single “Willow,” which was accompanied by an ethereal music video that performs as the sequel to the “Cardigan” music video off folklore. The “Willow” video follows the singer-songwriter stepping into a piano and entering the woods, setting the mythical vibe of the album.
Meanwhile, the final track “Evermore” is also a sequel to folklore’s “Exile,” with both songs featuring vocals from indie folk band Bon Iver. Folklore is also referenced in the lyrics to the third track “Gold Rush”: “My mind turns your life into folklore/ I can’t dare to dream about you anymore.”
With a simple four-chord piano progression reminiscent of “New Years Day” from reputation, “Champagne Problems” tells the emotional story of a girl who rejects her fiancé’s marriage proposal. Another notable track is “No Body No Crime,” an upbeat country-esque song that features the pop rock band Haim and tells the story of a murder mystery that has been stuck on repeat for me since the album’s release.
Overall, the album is both calming and poignant, comprised of rainy-day ballads graced by Swift’s mellifluous voice. Although folklore and evermore are brilliantly intertwined, I must say that I prefer folklore’s vibe, its metaphorical lyrics, and the heart-wrenching love triangle embedded in its 16-song track list.
After dropping two albums in one year, I can’t help but wonder what other secret projects are lurking in the shadows for the Grammy award-winning artist. Swift wrote in an Instagram post the day of evermore’s release, “I have no idea what will come next. I have no idea about a lot of things these days and so I’ve clung to the one thing that keeps me connected to you all. That thing always has and always will be music. And may it continue, evermore.”
These last two albums spotlight Swift’s musical and lyrical range. As one of the biggest names in the music industry, she can successfully leap from country, to pop, to indie folk in the span of her 15-year career. As sung in “Willow,” she “comes back stronger than a 90’s trend.”
IMAGE TAKEN from Slant Magazine