Taylor Swift already saved 2020 with Folklore, but us Swifties lost our shit when she announced that very December that she would be releasing Evermore. Her music is one of the main things that got me through lockdown, and this album was no exception. So much so, it was incredibly difficult to narrow down my favourite tracks to just five.
Evermore was another surprise album drop, referred to by Taylor herself as Folklore’s sister record, and it was announced on the 10th December 2020, three days before her 31st birthday. In a series of posts on Instagram, she explained her excitement for turning 31, as it’s her lucky number 13 backwards, and that her fans had always been so supportive and caring on her birthdays, which is why she wanted to give something back. She worked closely with music producers Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff on Folklore, and following the album’s release, they continued writing songs, the end result being Evermore. Folklore was also known for the collaboration with Bon Iver on the absolute bloody masterpiece that was Exile, and this album brought with it not only an additional collab with Bon Iver, but also ones with Haim and The National.
Information correct at time of writing.
Release Date: 11th December 2020
Producers: Taylor Swift, Aaron Dessner, Jack Antonoff, Bryce Dessner
Label: Republic Records
Tracks: 15 (standard edition), 17 (deluxe edition)
Awards & Nominations:
Guinness World Records 2020 – Shortest Gap Between New No.1 Albums on the US Billboard (Female)
American Music Awards – Favourite Pop/Rock Album 2021 (Won)
ARIA Music Awards – Best International Artist (Won)
Grammy Awards – Album of the Year 2022 (Pending)
My Top Five
- Champagne Problems
- ‘Tis the Damn Season
Honourable Mentions: Long Story Short, Willow, No Body No Crime, It’s Time to Go, Gold Rush
Marjorie is the 13th track on the album and draws parallels with Epiphany, the 13th track on Folklore. While Epiphany honours Taylor’s grandfather, Marjorie is an incredibly poignant tribute to her grandmother, opera singer Marjorie Finlay, who passed away when Taylor was 13 and inspired her to pursue a career in music. In the song, she references the lessons her grandmother taught her, and the emotional bridge talks about the memories and regrets she has. This stood out as one of my favourite songs on the albums because it was so deeply personal, but yet it’s a song that so many can relate to. It made me think of my grandparents who I’ve not seen much of this last year for obvious reasons, and how much I can’t wait to see them properly when lockdown eventually ends. I especially love the lyrics “Never be so polite you forget your power, never wield such power you forget to be polite,” which is a print I now proudly display in my office.
Evermore (feat. Bon Iver)
After the absolute perfection that was Exile, I was excited to see that Bon Iver would be featuring on the title track of this album, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The song initially starts off as a slow piano ballad, but then switches to a climactic bridge that features Justin Vernon’s signature vocals. What I love about the song is that it talks about being in your lowest, darkest moments, but eventually coming to the realisation that the pain will pass. I see the Evermore lyrics as an incredible metaphor for mental health and your thought processes during those dark periods, and you can even go as far as relating it to the events of 2020 as a whole, where so many of us experienced depression, grief and hopelessness, not really knowing if or when it would end. The more I listen to it, the more I relate, and it’s such a beautiful, powerful song that – after struggling with my mental health a lot more recently – I have listened to on multiple occasions these last few months.
Another of my favourite Evermore songs has to be Champagne Problems, depicting the story of a girlfriend rejecting her lover’s marriage proposal and ultimately taking responsibility for the heartbreak. It’s yet another example of what a fantastic storyteller Taylor is, and I especially love the bridge and the intensity of it all, my favourite lyric being “she would have made such a lovely bride, what a shame she’s fucked in the head.” It’s yet another one of her angsty break-up lyrics I belt out at full volume in my car, despite being happily married and never actually having gone through a break-up. Don’t judge me.
‘Tis The Damn Season
It could be argued that ‘Tis the Damn Season is a Christmas song, given that it’s set during the holiday season. Normally, I refuse to listen to any kind of Christmas song outside of December, but this is my only exception. It’s not overly festive so it’s fine – there’s no sleigh bells or any of that crap. Similarly to the story-arc in Folklore that links Cardigan, Betty and August, ‘Tis the Damn Season is later revealed to be linked to Dorothea. ‘TIs the Damn Season tells the story of a woman returning to her hometown for Christmas and reconnecting with a past lover, despite knowing it won’t lead anywhere, while Dorothea is told from the lover’s perspective. What I love the most about ‘Tis the Damn Season is that it’s another of Taylor’s songs that tells a story and it just has the potential to capture every single emotion that comes with it, along with the notion that you never really cut those ties with your hometown.
Ivy is one of the more upbeat Evermore songs and I’m totally here for it. While the subject matter isn’t quite as cheery – it’s about a married woman being unfaithful and the potential consequences of her affair – I love the melody and the upbeat chorus of the song, along with the overall metaphor of ivy growing to symbolise the intense attachment to someone. It’s incredibly catchy too!
Taylor Swift’s Evermore is packed with incredible songs, so it was really bloody difficult to narrow it down to five favourite tracks. In terms of honourable mentions, there were quite a few that I had to give a nod to. Long Story Short stood out especially, paying a nod to the Kim and Kanye drama of 2016 and how she ultimately bounced back like a goddamn QUEEN, teaching the important lesson that you can go through the worst time in your life and still come out the other side. It’s a song packed with layers and has a catchy tune, but my favourite line quite simply has to be “long story short, I survived.” Definitely a message we can all relate to. Willow is another that stood out purely because, as the first track, it set the tone for the album and brought with it plenty of promise as to what we were in for, and I loved the melody and the use of metaphors in the song. I also loved No Body No Crime which tells the story of a woman named Este, who is ultimately murdered by her unfaithful husband, and the narrator takes revenge by murdering her husband. Yes, it’s grim but it’s such a catchy country-style ballad, and the accompanying vocals from Haim finish it off perfectly. One song that very nearly made it into the top five was It’s Time to Go, one of the bonus tracks on the album, which is about coming to the realisation that you need to leave a relationship – whether it’s a romantic relationship, a friendship or a working relationship. The third verse appears to reference the recent feud with Scooter Braun, who purchased the masters to her first six albums in 2019, one of my favourite lines being “He’s got my past frozen behind glass, but I’ve got me.” Yes you have, Taylor, and your re-recording of these albums is going to be FUCKING INCREDIBLE. The song actually hit me on a personal level too and I’ve been listening to it a lot lately as a result. Let’s just say, it’s a song that I needed to hear in my current situation (don’t worry, it’s not my marriage!). My final honourable mention goes to Gold Rush, an incredibly dreamy number describing an infatuation towards someone and the insecurity that goes with it, with the person in question revealed to be the subject of a daydream. It may or may not have got me thinking about Paul Mescal…
Well, she did it again. Taylor brought us another bloody masterpiece of an album, and she just gets better and better. A combination of fictional tales and personal experiences make up Evermore and the end result is incredible. It’s become my favourite thing to listen to when I’m feeling anxious, and I’ve already memorised the lyrics. The million dollar question though has to be: is Evermore better than Folklore? I honestly don’t know, and to be honest asking me to pick between the two is like asking me to pick between my two hypothetical children. I love them both and each of them showcase Taylor’s incredible songwriting at it’s very best. I know that’s a bit of a copout answer, but it’s true. With each of her previous albums representing an “era,” and the fact that Evermore is the sister record to Folklore, it’s much easier to think of the two as one whole era anyway, so perhaps you don’t need to choose. I know I certainly don’t.
What are your thoughts on Evermore? Let me know your favourite tracks in the comments!
Catch Up with the Rest of My Tay-Tay Top Five Series
Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (2021)
Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions (2020)
Speak Now (2010)
Taylor Swift (2006)
Featured image credit: New York Post.