Taylor Swift releases ‘Evermore’, second album this year

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Republic Records

The album cover of “Evermore”

We have been blessed with another Taylor Swift album just fifteen months after Lover, five months after Folklore, and a mere two and a half weeks after the Folklore documentary. Titled Evermore, Swift’s ninth studio album is a sister album to Folklore, with alternative rock, chamber pop, and indie pop themes woven together with some country sounds.

Announced on December 10, 2020, the album dropped at midnight on December 11, two days before Swift’s birthday.

“It [felt] 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,” Swift stated on her social media. “We [Swift and her team] chose to wander deeper in.”

Evermore‘s lead single ‘Willow’ and its music video were also released along with the album.

This album is the younger, bubblier, but somehow sadder sister of Folklore, wading deeper into Swift’s indie and alternative reinvention. The album starts off with a perfect lead single titled ‘Willow’. The song is a bouncy, yet haunting track where Swift sings about love, and how hard it is to be in a relationship.

As usual, it wouldn’t be the music video of a Taylor Swift song without the little references and Easter eggs. The music video for ‘Willow’ is a continuation of ‘Cardigan’, the lead single of Folklore. Many other scenes in the video are nods to other songs. For example, one scene shows Swift performing while trapped in a glass cage. This is a reference to ‘Mirrorball’ from Folklore, where Swift sings about how fame feels like being trapped, and how she feels like a mirrorball spinning overhead, only there for everyone to look at.

Another scene shows Swift with a dark hooded cloak and a determined expression. This, for me, was a direct nod to her second single from Reputation (2017), ‘…Ready For It?”. At the end of the video Swift “[steps] into the daylight”, a lyric from 2019’s Lover. All throughout the video, Swift follows a golden string, which is a reference to Folklore‘s ‘Invisible String’.

One of my favorite songs from Evermore is ‘Gold Rush’, which is about catching yourself daydreaming about someone and wanting it to stop badly. This song starts off ethereally like ‘Mirrorball’ from Folklore, but quickly speeds up to a catchy tune that I’ve had stuck in my head since I first listened to it. Something cool that I noticed was that the lyrics “Eyes like sinking ships on waters/So inviting, I almost jump in,” sound like the lyrics, “Ocean blue eyes looking in mine/I feel like I might sink and drown and die,” from Reputation‘s ‘Gorgeous’.

Many songs of Evermore go back to Swift’s older discography. The chords and the progression of the song ‘Champagne Problems’ sounds so much like the track ‘All Too Well’ from 2012’s Red. Something I found surprising (but also wholesome) is that ‘Champagne Problems’ was co-written by William Bowery. In her Folklore documentary, Swift revealed that Bowery was actually Joe Alwyn, her boyfriend. As a fan, I love that Swift doesn’t write songs about her exes anymore, but instead writes songs with her boyfriend.

‘No Body, No Crime’ (ft. HAIM) is a wonderful, upbeat song about a fictional mysterious crime. The song follows a plotline where Este, a friend of the narrator’s, finds out that her husband was cheating on her. However, Este dies before she can prove it. At the end of the song, the lyrics “Good thing my daddy made me get a boating license when I was fifteen/And I’ve cleaned enough houses to know how to cover up a scene…I wasn’t lettin’ up until the day he died,” hint at the narrator taking revenge on Este’s husband on behalf of Este. The song showcases how good Swift is at storytelling.

The track ‘Long Story Short’ is a faster track where Swift sings about her long-past feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. The song is Reputation-esque, and at the end, Swift sings, “I wanna tell you not to get lost in these petty things/Your nemeses/Will defeat themselves before you get the chance to swing,” revealing and proving that Swift is over what happened. ‘Long Story Short’ also sounds much like the younger sister of ‘The Last Great American Dynasty’ from Folklore with its fast-paced, catchy tune and stunning vocals.

The last song on the standard version of the album, ‘Evermore’ (ft. Bon Iver), is a perfect end to the album. The lyrics are about coming to a safe place with hope in your life from a dark place. The song’s vocals, both Swift and Vernon’s (Bon Iver) blend beautifully together with some calming piano in the background that speeds up slowly. Some other tracks on the album I enjoyed are ‘Happiness’, ‘Closure’, ‘Dorothea’, and ‘Marjorie’.

I highly recommend this album to anyone who appreciates lyrical meaning and music. Anyone who is a fan of Ed Sheeran, the National, Harry Styles, Bon Iver, Carrie Underwood, or any other pop, country, or indie artist would definitely enjoy the album. While not entirely pop, indie-style, country-esque Evermore deserves as much love as all of Swift’s past hits.

Christmas came early this year for Swifties, and Swift (once again) saved 2020.

10/10, highly recommend