With the cancellation of tours, closing of studios, and inability to meet with collaborators in person, this year has provided many challenges for musicians to work around. Since various music projects were forced to be put on hold or delayed, it came as a shock to many Taylor Swift fans when she surprise-dropped her latest album, Folklore, on July 24th. As Folklore approaches its five-month anniversary, Taylor Swift has announced her second album of 2020, titled Evermore.
The lack of traditional announcements or promotions before the album’s release did not hinder Folklore’s success. Despite coming as a complete surprise (less than 24 hours’ notice), Folklore became the first album of 2020 to sell a million copies. Even after the initial hype of the surprise-drop passed, Folklore continued to dominate the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart weeks after its release and even became regarded as her best album among many critics.
The idea of a Taylor Swift album gaining popular acclaim is a surprise to no one, but the explosive success of Folklore is still quite impressive, especially given the album’s departure from many elements of modern pop music and lack of traditional marketing. While people can debate whether an album released by an artist as big as Swift can technically be labeled as ‘indie’, this stripped-down album doesn’t seem to have been written with popular success in mind. But with the promise of Evermore continuing in the same vein as Folklore, we can expect Evermore to work like a sequel to Folklore, gaining similar commercial success and acclaim.
A Surprise Drop
On the morning of December 10th, Swift announced on social media that her newest album, Evermore, would be released on December 11th at midnight EST. The artist implied that the quarantine writing spree she and her collaborators embarked on was so inspiring that continuing in the vein of Folklore was a natural choice. As an artist who often reinvents her sound between albums, choosing to continue exploring the themes of her previous album is new territory for her. It would appear that this new style that Swift has discovered resonates with her personally and artistically.
The Track Names
The album includes 13 tracks:
- “Champagne Problems”
- “Gold Rush”
- “Tis the Damn Season”
- “Tolerate it”
- “No Body, No Crime”
- “Coney Island”
- “Cowboy Like Me”,
- “Long Story Short”
2 bonus tracks, “Right Where You Left Me” and “It’s Time to Go”, will also be included on the deluxe physical edition. While we don’t know exactly what inspired these songs, the song title “Marjorie” does spark curiosity, as Marjorie is the name of Swift’s grandmother. Additionally, this song being the thirteenth song of Evermore points to similarities with Folklore, whose thirteenth track, “Epiphany”, is inspired by her grandfather’s war experiences. It’s worth noting that Swift has dubbed Evermore, “Folklore’s sister record.”
Collaborators and Additional Features
Along with the track names, we know that Swift collaborated with a variety of artists, including several that she has worked with before. Like Folklore, Taylor created Evermore alongside Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff, another indication that the writing of Folklore never ended and Evermore is merely the continuation of the same musical journey. Following in Folklore’s footsteps, Evermore includes a self-titled track featuring Justin Vernon, the singer of the indie folk band Bon Iver, who sang on the track “Exile” in Folklore. New featured artists include Haim and The National on “No Body, No Crime” and “Coney Island”, respectively.
Taylor also mentioned on social media that the music video for “Willow” will be released alongside the album. She credited Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, producer Jil Hardin, 1st AD Joe ‘Oz’ Osbourne, Co-1st AD Ev Salomon, Executive Producer Rebecca Skinner, editor Chancler Haynes, Set Designers Ethan Tobman and Regina Fernandez, and Visual Effects Artists Grant Miller and David Lebensfeld for their hard work in helping her direct the video. Since many of these individuals also worked on the “Cardigan” music video, we can possibly expect a similar experience with the video for “Willow.”
You can watch the music video here when it debuts.
The Internet's Reaction
The internet has unsurprisingly blown up over the announcement of Evermore. It’s common for fans to spread rumors about their favorite artists’ upcoming work, but I don’t think many people, if any, were expecting this release, even if some people predicted that Taylor’s ninth studio album would continue in the vein of Folklore. Even if you aren’t a fan of her music, it’s impressive for an artist to produce two fully-developed albums from the start of quarantine to now, especially given the many restrictions that impacted the music industry this year. Fans wasted no time spreading memes reflecting the complete shock surrounding this sudden announcement:
You can purchase the standard edition digital album here if you don’t subscribe to a music streaming service. The digital album and digital booklet will be sent to the purchaser’s email at 12:00am ET on December 11, 2020.
If you’d like to read more about Taylor Swift’s recent work,