Taylor Swift Releases Surprise 9th Album “Evermore”

(Photo Credit: Beth Garrabrant)

(Photo Credit: Beth Garrabrant)

Kayla Katounas

Last Friday, December 11, Taylor Swift released her ninth studio album, Evermore, less than five months after her previous album, Folklore.

The album features 15 songs, not including the two bonus tracks included on the physical deluxe edition. Swift continued working with the same team that created Folklore, including Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner of The National, Justin Vernon (known as Bon Iver), and William Bowery, which is the fake name used by the actor and Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. The album was announced on Taylor Swift’s social media on December 10, less than 24 hours before the album was made available. This is the second time that Swift has done this, as she surprisingly announced Folklore’s midnight release in July as well.

In an Instagram post announcing the album, Swift said, “To put it plainly, we couldn’t stop writing songs. To try to 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 travel further into the forest of this music.” In the past, there have been about two years in between each album, each one marking a different “era” of Swift’s career, but this is the first album that has felt as if it could fall within the same era as the last. “I’ve never done this before. In the past I’ve always treated albums as one-off eras and moved onto planning the next one after an album was released. There was something different with Folklore. In making it, I felt less like I was departing and more like I was returning,” Swift continued in her Instagram announcement.

I think that Evermore is one of Swift’s best albums. There are so many elements of the album that make it so well done. It’s clear that the lyrics are so well thought out and have so much meaning. A lyric that stood out to me was, “you had a speech, you’re speechless/ love slipped beyond your reaches/ and I couldn’t give a reason” in the song “champagne problems”. The line felt so vulnerable and emotional on par with the song being revolved around the story of someone who denies a relationship proposal. The feel of this album, as well as Folklore, is so different from any of Swift’s previous work, but it is pulled off so well that it doesn’t feel out of place. In an Instagram post, she said, “Sometimes I just want to listen to music while pining away/sulking/staring out a window,” and I think that she achieved the perfect album for that. Listening to the album makes me feel like I am staring out into the woods on a rainy day. It has this wistful, almost magical feeling, especially after watching the music video for “willow”. 

When trying to pick favorite songs, I really struggled because I enjoyed all of them, but some standouts for me were; “no body, no crime” which featured HAIM;  “willow”, the album’s single, who’s music video was released along with the album; and “tolerate it”, the albums fifth track, which is particularly meaningful to Swift as the fifth song on an album is always very personal to her life. My one nitpick is about the song “evermore” featuring Bon Iver; I just don’t think it stands out much in the album, especially compared to their previous collaboration “exile” on Folklore. While I still really enjoy the song, I think it could have been more memorable considering it’s the album’s namesake. Overall, I was very impressed with Evermore, especially considering the short time it was created in. In fact, Swift completed the album just one week before it was released with the completion of the last song “happiness”.

If you’re looking for new music to listen to, Evermore is definitely a great option, and when that is finished, Taylor Swift has eight other albums to listen to next!