By Chloe Colmenares
Social Media Editor and Staff Writer
Taylor Swift’s greatest strength as an artist lies in her ability to craft a story within her lyrics. This talent is ever-present in her surprise new album “evermore”.
Announced the morning before its midnight release on Dec. 11, and right before Swift’s 31st birthday, “evermore” (stylized in lowercase) continues Swift’s journey into indie-inspired folk-pop music.
In the midst of the pandemic, emotions are swirling around inside almost everyone. Swift’s “evermore” is a similar mix of emotional reflection, and the perfect album if you need background music for a good cry.
As a sister piece to her last album, “folklore,” this new album differentiates itself from its predecessor by leaning further into the fantastical storytelling aspect audiences saw with songs like “betty” and “the last great american dynasty” in “folklore,” surprise-released in July.
This album is composed of 15 songs, including features from HAIM, The National, and Bon Iver, and comes in at exactly an hour of listening time.
The opening track, “Willow,” is one of Swift’s strongest openers, and introduces the tone of the album with a plucky guitar and mesmerizing glockenspiel instrumentals.
The tracks “Champagne Problems” and “No Body, No Crime” (feat. HAIM), really show off Swift’s masterful storytelling ability. The first track tells the story of a rejected proposal, mental-health issues and alcohol addiction. In the second, Swift takes on a murder mystery with more of a country twang.
“Gold Rush,” the album’s third song, co-written and produced by Jack Antonoff, is another highlight. Antonoff is best known for his collaborations with artists such as Lana Del Rey, Lorde, Carly Ray Jepsen, St. Vincent, and many more.
The production on this song is ethereal and glittery. It transports the listener into a daydream Swift sings about while fantasizing about someone everyone else wants.
Swift really heightens the emotion on the tracks “Happiness” and “Marjorie.”
“Happiness” takes on a relationship that has bitterly fallen apart, though the narrator takes the time to look back upon all the moments that made them happy. The production on this song is minimal, emphasizing Swift’s lyrics. However, a faint piano tune and synthesizers accompany her vocals.
“Marjorie” is named after Swift’s late grandmother who died back in 2003. The song touches upon their relationship and how Swift can still feel her presence with each step she takes in life. Her grandmother was an opera singer who pushed Swift to pursue a career in singing.
The final song on the album, “Evermore,” featuring Bon Iver, is another somber tale about the narrator’s journey post-breakup from a feeling of misery to eventual hope. Bon Iver’s vocalist Justin Vernon is introduced in the middle of the song with a sudden key change, signaling this emotional shift.
The song, and the album as a whole, finishes with optimism, seeing a light at the end of the tunnel despite the hurt the narrator currently feels.
“I had a feeling so peculiar, this pain wouldn’t be for evermore,” Swift writes.
“Evermore” feels like a genre marriage between Swift’s previous eras. Hailing from West Reading, Pa., Swift started out writing country music and released her self-titled country pop album back in 2006.
Ever since, she has explored different genres like rock and synth-pop. Her return primarily to the country music sound with “folklore” and “evermore” feels like a return home in a more mature, wiser manner.