Less than five months after folklore, Swift surprised her fans once again with the release of her 9th studio album, evermore, on December 11th, 2020. Swift posted on her Instagram, “I’m elated to tell you that my 9th studio album, and folklore’s sister record, will be out tonight at midnight eastern. It’s called evermore. To put it plainly, we just couldn’t stop writing songs,” Swift’s post with over 3.5 million ‘likes’ continues, “so I just kept writing them. And I loved creating these songs with Aaron Dessner, Jack Antonoff, WB, and Justin Vernon. We’ve also welcomed some new (and longtime) friends to our musical kitchen table this time around…” Evermore, the sister album to folklore, has 15 tracks on the standard edition of the album plus 2 bonus tracks on the deluxe edition. The album was received with much praise from both critics and fans, and it instantly climbed to the top of all major song charts.
While folklore and evermore are sister albums with many similarities, there are also some noticeable differences. Both albums are defined under streaming platforms as “alternative”
music. This is a new genre for Taylor Swift, who has previously put out the only country and pop albums. The genre change produced more of an acoustic sound and emotionally-driven lyrics. Many of the songs in both folklore and evermore include heavy doses of piano and guitar. Most of these piano ballads are the albums’ most emotional songs, including “exile” (feat. Bon Iver), “my tears ricochet,” “champagne problems,” “tolerate it,” “coney island,” “marjorie,” and the title song “evermore.”
To many, evermore wields a brighter sound than folklore. It also includes more songs with a “pop” beat, such as the hit songs “old rush,” “no body, no crime” (feat. HAIM), “long story short,” and “closure.” Taylor Swift is well known for her lyricism and storytelling skills, and her newest albums continue to live up to this reputation. Some critics even consider folklore and evermore to be her best works yet. Throughout both albums, there are interconnecting storylines between songs that show the different points of view of the fictional characters Swift creates. These storylines include high school romances, breakups, divorces, affairs, and even a murder mystery!
After the release of evermore, reviews came pouring in from huge publications praising the new album’s songwriting, production, storytelling, and vocals. Rolling Stone’s review, written by Claire Shaffer, states, “Just months after folklore, Swift delivers another surprise album, full of unexpected experiments, ambitious story songs and moments of narrative myth-making that often turn the lens back on herself.” USA Today tied both folklore and evermore as the best albums of 2020 in their article “The 10 Best Albums of 2020, including Taylor Swift, Phoebe Brigers and Chloe x Halle.” In addition, as the albums soared to the top of the charts, Taylor Swift became the first artist in Billboard charts history to debut at No.1 on both the Billboard Top 200 and Hot 100.
With her new albums, Taylor Swift proves once again that no matter what genre, year, controversy, or phase of life she writes and performs in, she can subsequently produce not one, but two groundbreaking albums. Swift gave hope to fans and other artists in a year that saw many live shows and projects canceled because of COVID-19. Instead of wallowing in the fact that she may not be able to interact with fans in person, she channeled her feelings into her music and created something incredible.You can listen to folklore and evermore by Taylor Swift on all major streaming platforms or buy the physical albums at most retailers.