When the world stopped, Taylor Swift did not. evermore is Taylor Swift’s second album in five months. A companion to July’s Folklore, it embodies authentic storytelling and departs from the confessional songwriting of Swift’s earlier career.
Evermore’s Folklorian Woods
“To put it plainly,” Taylor Swift has shared of her new album, “we just couldn’t stop writing songs. To try and put it more poetically, 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.”
A New Direction
evermore represents more than a musical shift in direction. With 2012 album Red and 2014’s 1989 Swift captured the hearts of millions of fans. With the record-breaking international stadium tour which accompanied Reputation, she cemented herself as one of the world’s most popular entertainers. As with Folklore, Swift now subverts the expectations which accompany her success.
The album’s cover is simple. It shows the back of Swift’s head in a forest. Its scenery embodies the tone of the album. Taylor Swift has turned her back on fame and is looking someplace else.
evermore also lacks a title displayed on the cover. “I didn’t actually want to have the title on the album covers,” she has explained. Swift may not have control over the rights to her first five albums but with evermore, she creates a world into which she can escape. One in which she is completely in control.
Evermore is No Fairytale
The first track on the album is titled ‘willow’. It moves between tear-jerking and simply beautiful. The song’s lyrics are theorised by fans to be a counterpart to Folklore‘s ‘Invisible String’. As the accompanying music video makes clear, it follows the story of a young Taylor rekindling a romance with a long-lost love interest.
“I’m begging for you to take my hand,” Swift sings, “wreck my plans, that’s my man”. The lyric has sparked no small amount of speculation as to its meaning. Some suggest it hints Swift and long-term boyfriend Joe Alwyn have married. Others think ‘willow’ cryptically suggests Swift and Alwyn have had a child.
Despite her efforts at reinvention one thing evermore makes clear is that songs of heartbreak and romance are still Taylor Swift’s stock in trade. Hit single ‘champagne problems’ is a fan favourite. And for good reason. The song invokes a universal feeling of sadness and heartbreak. ‘champagne problems’ is a song of sorrow with the added sense of hope joining on the last verse. Swift confirms that life as one of the world’s biggest pop acts has been anything but a magical love story. When asked what inspired the deep sorrow of this track Swift shared she took the sentiment from both the 2020 Presidential campaign as well as her highly publicised feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
Taylor Swift Returns to Her Roots
Another notable track on the album is ‘no body, no crime’. The song, which has been referred to as a mystical version of the Chicks’ hit single ‘Goodbye Earl’, features guest vocals from the Haim sisters. It brings Swift back to her Nashville and country roots while still embodying the mythical themes of Folklore.
evermore is an engaging story of heartache, heartbreak and romance. The album’s 15 tracks embody Swift’s incredible songwriting talent while placing a new spin on her previously familiar sound. Her lyricism and production create a sense of escapism, one well suited to these troubled times. Mythic, mesmerising, and memorable, it is an all encapsulating experience.