Taylor Swift Surprise Releases New Album


Taylor Swift dropped surprise new album evermore on Dec. 11 at midnight, after announcing it a few hours beforehand on social media. Williston students and teachers debated fiercely the following day on theories about the album.

Evermore, which is stylized all lower case, is Swift’s ninth studio album, released in less than five months after the release of her previous surprise album folklore, the sister album of evermore, during the global pandemic when the music industry is stagnant.

It is also Swift’s 31st birthday Dec. 13.

Taylor Swift said in her Instagram post that “To put it plainly, we just couldn’t stop writing songs.”

There are 15 songs in the album, with the total length of one hour and one minute, featuring by other artists: HAIM, The National, and Bon Iver. The lead single Willow was accompanied by her self-directed music video.

The songs are mostly in alternative rock and chamber rock styles, with indie/folk sounds that resonate with folklore.

Just like folklore, evermore is consisted of songs that tell third-person narrative stories that mostly revolve around love and pain, instead of the autobiographic style she adopted in her previous albums, such as Reputation and Lover.

A few examples of the storylines are: the difficult girlfriend’s personal struggles disrupting emotional life in the song “Champagne Problems,” Dorothea’s return back home for Christmas when accidentally encountering her high-school lover in “Tis the Damn Season,” and her former lover’s point of view “Dorothea.”

As Swift herself put it on her Instagram, “Before I knew there were 17 tales,” and they were “imaginary/not imaginary tales.”

Sarah Markey, a junior from Florence, Mass., was thrilled for it. “I was very excited when she announced her new album.”

She adores the album. “I stayed up to listen to it when it dropped at midnight,” Sarah said. “I love it!”

Sarah talked about her favorite song from the album and emphasized on the Gatsby allusion Taylor Swift made.

“I’m still undecided on my favorite song, but right now my favorites are Goldrush and Champagne Problems,” she said. “I like the allusions to “The Great Gatsby” in “Happiness” because we read the novel in English this year.”

“Happiness,” co-written by Taylor Swift and The National’s Aaron Dessner, is about a heartbreaking relationship. The lyrics “I hope she’ll be a beautiful fool/Who takes my spot next to you” probably refers to Daisy’s wish for her daughter: “she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

Later in the song there is also the line “All you want from me now/Is the green light of forgiveness,” referring to the greenlight in “The Great Gatsby” representing the future Gatsby is reaching out to.

Following this route of explanation, other lyrics like “In our history/Across our great divide” and “Tell me, when did your winning smile/Begin to look like a smirk?” could also be references to the East and West Eggs and Gatsby’s “rare smile.”

Sarah expressed that she has always loved Taylor Swift. “Taylor Swift was my Spotify wrapped top artist of this year, and I assume she will be next year too!”

Fans have been making up theories about how this album indicates Taylor Swift’s marriage with her boyfriend Joe Alwyn. In the music video of “Willow,” she wears a bridal-inspired gown, and in “Ivy,” there is the lyric of “Drink my husband’s wine.” Joe Alwyn is an English actor, and was in movies like Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016), The Favourite (2018), and Harriet (2019). Swift and Alwyn have been dating since 2016.

Sarah is not sure about Taylor Swift’s marriage, but she believes that it is going to be in private. “I’m not sure. I think she might be married,” Sarah said. “It wouldn’t surprise me, but I’m not sure.”

Natalie Stott, a junior from Franklin, Mass., is a big fan of Swift. She has put this album on repeat. “I really love the album and I’ve already listened to it many times,” she said.

Natalie was surprised at the quality of this album and the speed that Swift released it. “I think it’s definitely one of her best albums,” she said, “and I can’t believe she released another one so quickly.”

It was difficult for her to pick a favorite song because she liked the whole album. “A couple of my favorites are ‘Gold Rush,’ ‘No Body No Crime,’ ‘Long Story Short,’ and ‘Champagne Problems.’”

As for her thoughts on Swift’s potential marriage, she is uncertain, but wishes that this theory is true because she sees Swift and Alwyn as a fine pair, and as a fan, she wishes Swift happiness.

“I’m not sure but really I hope her and Joe get married at some point,” she said. “Because he is so perfect for her and I would love to see her finally get a happy ending.”