It's safe to say that Taylor Swift probably wins the prize for most productive 2020. While the rest of us were gaining weight and sitting in the same chair for 8 hours a day, Taylor was creating not one enchanting and whimsical album, but two with Evermore dropping last night.
This time around Swift continues to work with The National and Bon Iver, and William Bowery (who we now know to be her long-term beau Joe Alwyn), as well as inviting a couple more guests on to the album in the shape of girl-rockers Haim.
Folklore was (until today) frontrunner for my best album of 2020, and Evermore by no means disappoints as a sequel to the phenomenon that was folklore.
Somehow Evermore managed to be even more magical and whimsical than its sister release.
Once again Swift walks the fine line between fictional storytelling and deeply personal tracks and once again shows us just how clever she is, not only with the vocabulary she’s using but with her references to past songs or moments from her life that if you blink you'd miss them. But of course, the fans on Twitter don’t miss anything.
There’s plenty of tracks that, as per Swift’s usual form, hit the heartstrings pretty hard like ‘champagne problems’ and ironically, 'happiness', but the album isn’t all doom and gloom. 'gold rush' (a personal favourite) brings a magical and bright lift to the album and 'no body, no crime' ft Haim brings a country sound to a murder mystery. What a way to describe a song that is, ay?
Evermore is definitely slightly more experimental than Folklore. Swift pushes the boundaries of indie and takes a few risks, like the chaos of the instrumentals in 'closure' and the slight synth edge of 'long story shot' that feels reminiscent of 1989, another album that Swift collaborated with Jack Antonoff on.
I think the only thing missing was the shock and surprise. Sure, she dropped an album out of nowhere at midnight, but we had a fairly good idea of how this album would sound and the themes that would run through it. This absolutely doesn’t stop it from being an exceptional album but there was something about the adrenaline rush of not knowing what was coming with Folklore that just inches it as the better of the two. However, it's clearly a tight race.
Overall, Evermore is once again a triumph. Taylor Swift is consistently, throughout her career as well as this album, good at telling a story and making the listener feel as if they are in the moment being presented to them. It's enchanting and whimsical whilst also being solid and unfailing.
Rumour has it there may be a third installation to this enchanting story, and if so, I’m here for it.