Jada Hester, Correspondent
Taylor Swift’s newest album “Evermore” was released on Dec. 11, 2020, just shy of five months after its predecessor.
Like “Folklore,” this album popped up with little to no warning from Swift, but the 17 songs on the new album feel anything but rushed.
Working with artists such as Aaron Dessner, Jack Antonoff and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon has mimicked the exquisite sound of folklore while also giving evermore room to move on its own. Arguably the most popular song on the album, “willow,” has a whimsical, almost magical sound to it as the lyrics take listeners through what’s like to fall in love. “The more you say, the less I know / Wherever you stray, I follow / I’m begging for you to take my hand / Wreck my plans, that’s my man.”
However, some tell stories of tragic couples in not-so-loving relationships.
Another fan favorite is a lovely, mildly alarming country ballad called “no body, no crime” featuring HAIM in which Swift allegedly murders a friend’s cheating husband. In “dorothea,” an actress returns home from Hollywood to engage in an affair with her high school sweetheart. The storytelling in evermore is perhaps one of the most interesting aspects to the album.
Some tracks are like bittersweet memoirs. In “marjorie,” Swift remembers advice given to her by her late grandmother, Marjorie Finlay. Finlay was an opera singer who passed away in 2003, and her soprano vocals can be heard in the background of this song.
The album’s final song, “evermore” featuring Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, has a ghostly quality, with haunting piano and a gentle cadence that’s rarely heard in today’s music. The lyrics lead listeners along a journey of depression that seems to last forever into a happier, more hopeful spot in life. “And I was catching my breath / Floors of a cabin creaking under my step / And I couldn’t be sure / I had a feeling so peculiar / This pain wouldn’t be for / Evermore.”
Swift has been open with her struggles on mental health, and this album was a wonderful piece for listeners experiencing mental illness due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The artist has come a long way since her first self-titled album in 2006, and her maturity in folklore and evermore can be heard in every single track. The ethereal quality to Swift’s 2020 music was unlike anything she’s ever written before, but it was likely just what listeners needed to make it into 2021.