Two surprise Taylor Swift albums in one year? Yes please! After the release of ‘folklore’ in July, we all found ourselves falling down a rabbit hole of heavy emotions and dreamlike production through this impressive body of work. Using storytelling as the arc for this exploration into her artistry, this was the first record where she didn’t explicitly write about only her experiences. Instead, it heavily relied on her imagination as she wrote about fictional characters and situations, as well as people she had made acquaintance with while inserting some of her own emotions and experiences into the mix.
‘folklore’ was meant to be a one-of-a-kind folk pop project, but after she finished the record the stories kept on coming and the melodies kept flowing. So in the spur of the moment a sister record was created. ‘evermore’ continues this exploration in the most lush and captivating way possible. It’s a record that holds its own ground next to ‘folklore’, and it’s genuinely hard to compare the two. They are two different journeys, with two different sets of stories that will have you entranced from start to finish.
‘willow’ plays as the albums lead single and lays the foundations for the strong folk-pop storytelling core. From those opening moments you will find some golden nuggets of reflection, emotions and strong songwriting like ‘champagne problems, ‘gold rush’ and ’tis the damn season’ which truly feels like a warm hug.
There are a couple of collaborations on this record, including ‘coney island’ featuring The National, and title track ‘evermore’ featuring Bon Iver, but one of the most exciting and standout collaborations is ‘no body, no crime’ featuring HAIM. This song serves as an ode to true crime stories, and hears Este Haim being placed at the centre of a missing persons case after being cheated on by her husband. “I think he did it, but I just can’t prove it. No, no body, no crime. But I ain’t lettin’ up until the day I die” they sing in reference to the infidelity before later changing the hook at the end to “They think she did it, but they just can’t prove it” in reference to Este killing her husband. Sonically it’s one of her most country leaning tracks, and it’s a welcomed return.
It wouldn’t be a Taylor Swift record without a break-up anthem and ‘happiness’ is not only just that, but it’s also a song of growth. It plays as one of the albums strongest tracks, and one that had me immediately feeling a high intensity of emotions. With its somber production, she tells a story of realising that there is happiness in the past and we shouldn’t let that be clouded by the negativity. “There’ll be happiness after you, but there was happiness because of you too. Both of these things can be true. There is happiness in our history” she honestly sings. It’s a heavy but freeing track that will make you look at your past relationships in a different light.
‘closure’ then takes a different approach to a break-up where she looks at not needing someone’s closure to move on. This production is a bit more experimental with an industrial drum beat making itself noticeably present. “Yes, I got your lеtter. Yes, I’m doing better. I know that it’s over, I don’t need your closure” she sings. But that’s the brilliant thing about this album is that because she’s singing through different characters and stories, she can play with different perspectives.
From start to finish ‘evermore’ is a captivating listen of pure emotions and stellar storytelling. There are a couple of moments that don’t stand out as explicitly as others, but this record is intended to be listened from start to finish with your full attention, and that’s what it deserves. There’s no point trying to compare it to ‘folklore’, and instead we should just appreciate the continuation in this beautiful storytelling.