‘folklore’ shook the world with its surprise drop and saw Taylor Swift emerging into a new platform of musical genres. No longer did she play along to industry values and realised the power she had as an individual but that in the same year she would gift the world another album ‘evermore’ no one could’ve ever expected. ‘evermore’ and ‘folklore’ are Taylor Swift’s surprise additions of 2020. Both live in a mystical landscape and are proving to be a hug in the whirlwind of this year, an act of loneliness to fill up ours and keeps us longing for more.
Swift’s ninth album lives in the same mystical sphere as ‘folklore’ but ‘evermore’ sees us coming back to the grit reality of 2020. In ‘Dorothea’ she sings about “A tiny screen’s the only place I see you now” and catapults us to the longing sensation Swift has made us feel countless times before. ‘‘tis the damn season’ mentions the holidays but isn’t filled with yuletide glee but rather the fleeting loneliness of escapism and indecisiveness.
Over the years escapism has been her go-to theme to sing about whether it is to daydream about a better time, to cope with the loss of love or just because of the fairytales she imagines. In ‘no body, no crime’ Swift collabs with friends ‘Haim’ and the listener sees them bring a western/film noir to life through their imaginative lyrics whilst even mentioning ‘Este’, the bassist of the band, by name. The four women tell a tale of female empowerment whilst covering up their murder-mystery that might symbolise the male-dominated musical world they live in.
Although a sad presence is felt within ‘evermore’ and Swift even mentions “I’ve been down since July” in titular track ‘Evermore’, this record brings back light ‘80s pop melodies as previously heard in ‘1989’, that honed in her big switch to pop-music and six years later this is already seen as a distant memory as she has substituted pure-pop by a more alternative-singer-songwriter type of music.
‘Ivy’ is a Taylor Swift staple. The hopeful tone of love crosses the border between creator and listener even if she is “grieving for the living” and her partner might be “magnificently cursed”. The realisation of true acceptance and an adventure is transmitted to everyone who ponders on this track whether this love was meant to be or a mistake waiting to happen. Unlike previous Swift records this one was met by more scepticism than ever before. ‘cowboy like me’ could’ve been the standout romance track yet this didn’t happen. It translates that even though people might be perfect for each other, their past and future just might not align. “And the skeletons in both of our closets plotted hard to fuck this up” create a Swift so mystical and candid one could’ve never have imagined before ‘folklore’s’ inception. This proves that she is as poetic as before but might not be as blindly positive as the younger version of her showed us.
On the 13th of December Taylor Swift will turn 31, a significant age for her as mentioned in her statement for ‘evermore’. Long are the days that she turned up at every single one of her shows with 13 written on one her hands or her sitting on seat 13 or row 13 when she won an award but the number is still close to Swift’s heart and ever since she was 13 she has been longing to turn 31 as this is one of the symbolisms she beliefs in. Therefore ‘evermore’ might be seen as her most significant album yet. As this age and this album are so important to her it also comes as no shock that she included ‘Majorie’ an ode to Swift’s grandmother who was a prominent opera singer on her latest effort. The four minutes and eighteen seconds are a beautiful tale full of lessons and remembrance of a force so prominent in her life. She is known for opening up her heart and her diary to the world yet ‘Marjorie’ feels as if she has shown the deepest part of her soul to us. A part so hidden that we’d never expected to see again as her life of right now is more private than ever before.
‘evermore’ is Taylor Swift’s latest and possibly most beautifully dramatic album yet. With this new rising of Taylor Swift’s music, we can put her in the same category as Phoebe Bridgers as the two singer-songwriters coming after the emotional revolution that is called 2020. What 2021 has in store for us we might not know but what we do know is that we have a wide arrange of new music Swift offered to break our fall and cry our eyes out to. Yes, she has done it again, an album that will age so gracefully that 20 years from now people will still treasure it.