Taylor Swift surprised us with her ninth studio album evermore last week, so we thought it’d only be fair to surprise you with an entertainment article — on a Wednesday!
Overall, evermore is very stylistically similar to folklore. As Swift artfully put it in her announcement of this new album, “It feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or to travel further into the forest of this music. We chose to wander deeper in.”
The tracks in evermore felt peaceful, calm. As I was listening to this album, I could see myself wandering through a misty forest in an almost dream-like state. Every so often, I would stumble upon an old memory from the past: “no body, no crime” reminded me of reputation, while “‘tis the damn season” seemed reminiscent of 1989.
Evermore’s tracks, for better or worse, all seemed to give me the same vibe. As someone who (perhaps wrongly) gives more of a preference to catchy pop music, my initial thoughts on this album was “eh.” However, after listening to the entire album, I became more appreciative of the lyrical masterpieces that were these songs.
If you’re someone who, like me, have a taste for more upbeat, dance-y music (think Shawn Mendes or the Chainsmokers), then great! You might enjoy some of my personal favorites from the album that I’ll be writing more about below. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you really liked folklore or folklore-style music, you might want to try listening to “tolerate it” and “coney island.” And if you loved Taylor’s earlier albums (Fearless, Sparks Fly, etc.), some great picks for you could be “no body, no crime” and “ivy.”
“Willow” was one of my favorite tracks from evermore because of its ingenious chorus, both melodically and lyrically. I found this song to contain Taylor Swift’s signature clever lyrics combined with a catchy melody (and an… interesting music video — “cardigan” part 2?!).
‘tis the damn season
This song might just be my very favorite song from the album. I’ve been listening to this on repeat ever since it was released, and (as I mentioned earlier) it’s written in a style similar to 1989’s, with a tad more lyrical sophistication. Swift writes in her liner notes for her album, “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.” The first part refers to “dorothea,” another track from evermore, and there have been theories that she is referring to “‘tis the damn season” where she mentions Dorothea “[coming] back for the holidays and [rediscovering] an old flame.”
no body, no crime
“No body, no crime” is, to say the least, scandalous. The song is about a missing persons case (or two or three), involving Taylor’s friend Este, her husband, a supposed mistress she can’t catch, and this time Taylor herself. There’s been many interpretations of just exactly what the lyrics mean, but my interpretation is this: the song starts off with Taylor talking about her friend Este and her suspicions about a mistress, then suddenly Este goes missing. She notices Este’s husband’s new tires when she passes their house, and she suspects he’s the reason why Este’s gone. The song goes on with the third verse, where she conveniently mentions that it’s “a good thing” the mistress took out a life insurance policy and that Este’s sister’s going to “swear [Taylor] was with [her].”
Swift referred to evermore as folklore’s “sister record” in her announcement. After listening to it, I definitely see evermore as the fun little sister. Its tracks were written with more variety and styles than folklore, and it felt more multi-faceted as well. I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was that many of her previous albums had either felt like separate, individual tracks put together in a package or just different variations of the same song, while this one, in “wandering deeper in” the folklorian woods, found the golden balance between having individually unique tracks while still maintaining the same musical aesthetic of folklore throughout, and maybe that’s the magic of evermore.