Swift continues folklore story in new album evermore

Sarah Buchmann

Taylor Swift, critically acclaimed pop artist, dropped her second surprise album of 2020 in mid-December. Evermore was a surprise to fans across the world. Swift had released another surprise album, folklore, just a few months earlier, but both albums work hand in hand in telling a new story in a similar acoustic, indie vibe.

When I first listened to evermore, I felt as if I’d heard it before – but that’s only because it follows folklore so closely and repeats musical patterns. Yet, the more I listened to evermore, I began to notice the differences in tone and mood.

The genius of folklore was how the album made me feel homesick for a place I’d never been. Evermore on the other hand, has me missing a person I’ve never met. Folklore was great for its summertime release, when the world was desperate for travel and vacation; evermore relates more to our deep yearning for touch and companionship as we delve further into this winter of loneliness and quarantine. 

The album starts off with “willow,” a soft yet rhythmic song that was also released as a single and two different remixes (both a “dancing witch” and a “lonely witch” version were released as singles). “Willow” has taken to be the evermore equivalent of folklore’s “cardigan”, given that both are the lead singles and encompass the overall mood of their respective albums. However, I’m not a big fan – it’s a fine song, really, but in comparison to the other more in-depth songs on evermore, “willow” doesn’t evoke strong feelings.

That being said, evermore is filled with great songs, and each stand out in their own particular way. My current favorite songs from the album are “champagne problems”, “no body, no crime” (featuring popular girl band HAIM), “dorothea” and “marjorie”. These songs have strong melodies and lyrics, and while they don’t necessarily fit into the country genre, they remind me of Swift’s roots in music and her origin. While every album gives a piece of her personality, evermore is the most honest album she’s released.

And yet, this album is her least biographical one. Swift has a reputation for writing songs about her life and her (failed) romantic relationships, as demonstrated heavily in past albums like Red and Speak Now. Evermore is a continuation of the fantasy world that Swift concocted within folklore.

In folklore, there was a “hidden” love triangle between characters throughout the album. While these characters don’t return in evermore, she added new characters to this fantastical town and weaves new plots. Swift’s creativity in evermore and folklore shows that she is continuing to grow as an artist and is finally finding her sound.

While I love the evolution of Swift’s music and waiting to see what persona she dons for her next albums, this version of Swift is the most raw and I’m glad she’s sticking with it. She’s no longer the 16 year old with curly hair and cowboy boots; she’s 31 and is an adult living her life. Evermore shows continuity and exploration, and proves that Swift has found her musical niche. 

Album rating: 4.8 / 5 stars

Evermore Song Rankings

15. “happiness”

14. “closure”

13. “coney island”

12. “long story short”

11. “‘tis the damn season it”

10. “ivy”

9. “gold rush”

8. “tolerate it”

7. “willow”

6. “evermore”

5. “cowboy like me”

4. “marjorie”

3. “dorothea”

2. “champagne problems”

1. “no body, no crime”