On December 10, Taylor Swift took to all her social media accounts to announce that her ninth studio album, evermore would be dropping at midnight, along with a music video for the song willow (both stylized in all lowercase). Swift’s evermore, the sister album of her most recent album, folklore, has the same whimsical, indie persona that she has curated for her new era of music.
Composed of 15 songs and 2 bonus tracks, the album was created around the same time folklore was written. Writers Aaron Dessner, Jack Antonoff, WB, and Justin Vernon just couldn’t stop writing songs as Swift stated in an Instagram caption early Thursday morning.
In an announcement at around 8:30 am, Swift said she had never released two albums a part of the same era, but she moved onto something different with folklore. This statement rings true when looking at her previous albums. Swift tends to curate each album around a personality that embodies a certain energy she has created for the album.
For example, her Reputation album released in 2017, is considered a more bold, edgy Swift that contrasts dramatically with her 1989 album. Swift was known for writing powerful love songs about high school romances, the one that got away and heartbreak, but her Reputation album focused on being “an aggressive, lascivious display of craftsmanship” where she only wore costumes on tour made of black leather accompanied by jewelry resembling a snake, a symbol which showed up in a majority of her music videos and live concerts.
To summarize, Swift ensures that her albums have characteristics that differ from another, giving them more life and breaking up her music career into separate eras.
Swift’s folklore and evermore have a soft, magical feel, resembling her old style of music, with a bit of an indie folk-pop spin. Giving hints about the contents of the album, Swift posted a storyboard explaining some of the song's background that listeners can envision.
“Before I knew it there were 17 tales, some of which are mirrored or intersecting with one another…..The one where longtime college sweethearts had very different plans for the same night, one to end it and one who brought a ring. Dorothea, the girl who left her small town to chase down Hollywood dreams – and what happens when she comes back for the holidays and rediscovers an old flame” she said.
HIDDEN MESSAGES BEFORE RELEASE DATE:
While reverting to the old Swift writing that fans know and love, Swift is also known for sprinkling hidden messages in her works. People could take years talking about the abundance of hidden messages Swift hinted at her new album in social media accounts, but to sum up, here are a few clues. On Swift's Instagram story on December 9, she posted a picture of herself in a red dress covered with a long, fluffy orange coat, with the caption, “This outfit really screams ‘TIS THE DAMN SEASON”. On her album evermore, the same name can be found on track four.
Another sign hinting at evermore was a photo published on November 23 via Swift’s Instagram. The Instagram photo was a black and white picture of Swift in a cabin, the place she quarantined and wrote folklore with fellow co-writers, captioned, “not a lot going on at the moment”. The photo’s caption is the same phrase Swift used on another Instagram picture on April 28, a few months before she released folklore as a surprise. As well as that, in the background of the cabin photograph, a picture of a willow tree hangs on the wall, the same willow tree that features in her music video for the first song on evermore, named willow. Let’s just say, if Swift states nothing is going on at the moment, expect LOTS of secret music projects in the future.
Lastly, Swift mentioned she wanted to surprise her fans the week of her 31st birthday with the album. This may seem ordinary, but to fans who have an in-depth understanding of Swift’s knack of leaving hidden messages, the number 31 and its reverse, 13, are very symbolic numbers in the musical story Swift creates. Swift turned 31 on Sunday, the 13th. evermore was released 139 days after its sister album Folklore. When adding those numbers together, 1+3+9=13, the same day as Swift's birthday. Once again, Swift's brilliance blows fans away with her extensive planning of evermore’s release, maintaining a correlation between the two albums’ release dates and matching her birthday.
To discuss Swift’s album and mindset behind the genius of evermore could take hours, but the tracks do a beautiful job of displaying Swift’s lyrical shift from the colorful, idyllic Lover (2019) to a transformation into folksy tunes, stories of small town lovers and the feeling of closure after mending from past heartbreaks. Fans can find evermore on the music platforms, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify.