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Evermore was released on December 11th, 2020 at 12:00AM. I set my alarm and woke up a few minutes before.  Any sleepiness turned to excitement as I pressed play on track 1 while staring up at my ceiling fan.  

I am still a newer fan of Taylor’s. Folklore was the first album of hers that I fully listened through.  Since then, I have been going back through her discography.  Folklore single-handedly saved 2020, and evermore has been creating a similar effect.  At evermore’s release, I was newly single and dealing heartbreak and rejection.  As a result, this album and I have bonded as I turned to it for assistance in processing all my feelings.    

Evermore is the sister album to folklore.  Usually, Taylor will find a sound she likes and release one album in that style.  With evermore, she released a statement that she made a decision to continue on through the “folklorian woods.”  Where are these woods? I need to find them.   

Here are my ten favorites from evermore.  I am unable to rank these songs individually.  It feels like choosing a favorite child.  Instead, I opted for a tiered system, with 4 categories.  These include: Godlike, How Did I Exist Without this Song, No Complaints Here, and Fun to Play with Friends

1. Godlike 

– “happiness”

This is my favorite on the album.  A mature, peaceful, serene song about accepting the good of a relationship, leaving the bad, and knowing there is good ahead for both parties? With Great Gatsby references?  Sign me up!  This song is absolutely stunning and, in my opinion, the song that best summarizes Taylor’s current music style: hopeful, peaceful, and soft.  I love this one so much and have embroidered the lyric “you haven’t met the new me yet” on multiple projects.  

Favorite Lyric(s):

    “You haven’t met the new me yet”

“Now my eyes leak acid rain on the pillow where you used to lay your head”

– “evermore” (featuring Bon Iver)

Both the closing and title track, “evermore” is a five-minute masterpiece.  It follows someone leaving a period of sadness and turning to hope.  This shift is seen subtly in the chorus.  It begins with “I had a feeling so peculiar/ that this pain would be for/ evermore” and ends with a change “that this pain wouldn’t be for/ evermore.”  It feels as if Taylor and I both left these woods together and stepped into the sunlight.  

After listening to this song, I just stared at my ceiling fan, breathing deeply and calmly.  I felt intrinsically peaceful, and for this, it remains one of my favorite songs to ground myself when I am anxious. 

Favorite Lyric(s):

            “I replay my footsteps on each stepping stone

Trying to find the one where I went wrong

Writing letters

Addressed to the fire”

2. How Did I Exist Without This Song?

– “champagne problems”

This song is one of my favorites from Taylor in general. The imagery, the unraveling of the story, and the small details all work together create a strong image.  In my opinion, this is the best bridge of any of her songs.  The building of the lyrics, volume, intensity, and strings leading to the reveal of the singer being left by the character was a fantastic reveal.

Favorite Lyric(s):

“Your Midas touch on the Chevy door

November flush and your flannel cure”

– “gold rush”

“gold rush” is a song about jealousy of a beautiful person.  This is one of my most played from the album. Nothing beats strutting around Boston in heeled boots, listening to this, and pretending it is about me.  Highly recommend.  

Favorite Lyric(s):

“What must it be like to grow up that beautiful?

With your hair falling into place like dominoes

My mind turns your life into folklore”

– “tolerate it”

 Track five of evermore spared no punch.  “Tolerate it” joins the heartbreaking ranks of “All Too Well,” “Dear John,” and “my tears ricochet” in the Taylor Swift Track Five Family.  This was my favorite on the album upon the first listen.  I told someone this, and their response was “damn, who hurt you.”  

This song captures the feelings of being in a one-sided relationship: the pain, the hope that it will change, and the acceptance that this might just be what you deserve. I want to emphasize that you deserve more than that.  

Still, it made me sob into my pillow around 12:20AM.  At the end of the track, I felt better, and I will forever have a love for this song as a result.  How did she know that this song summarizes exactly what I needed to cry out in that moment?  

Favorite Lyric(s):

“I made you my temple, my mural, my sky

Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life” 

3. No Complaints Here!

– “willow”

Taylor starts off the album with “willow,” a tender song about finding the person you’re meant to be with.  In my opinion, nothing will ever beat “the 1” as an opener, but this one is still a great song! It sets the tone and theme of the album very well: being thankful for everything that led you to a person, while having the hope that you will find them.    It feels similar in subject to “invisible string” from folklore, so the album begins with strong ties to its sister.  Soft, fun, and enjoyable to pop on during the morning!

Favorite Lyric(s):

“And if it was an open-shut case

I never would’ve known from that look on your face”

– “tis the damn season”

In the classiest possible way, Taylor suggests you have a holiday hook-up with your ex.  It’s subtle, but it perfectly captures the feeling of being home, wanting to revisit the past, but knowing it shouldn’t go any further than a fling.  Cue me, driving around my hometown, listening to this song, batting my eyelashes at oncoming traffic.    

Favorite Lyric(s):

“Time flies, messy as the mud on your truck tires

Now I’m missing your smile, hear me out

We could just ride around

And the road not taken looks real good now”

– “ivy” 

My interpretation of this song centers it around a forbidden love.  I love the playful accompaniment, along with the softly sad lyrics create an interesting juxtaposition.  The ivy imagery makes this song feel incredibly cottagecore.  Perhaps this is why I always make muffins while listening to this song.

Favorite Lyric(s):

    “In from the snow

Your touch brought forth an incandescent glow

Tarnished but so grand”

– “closure”

 This song is another one of my favorites.  “Closure” is underscored with a drum beat.  By the end, it has been drowned out with strings.  It summarizes the anger and disinterest you might experience if you feel you are being used to check off a box.  

I interpret it to be summarized best in the moment a recent ex texts you to smooth things over, but they don’t actually want to know that you’re hurting. They want to check this action off their list so they can feel better, not out of concern for you.  “Closure” hits, and hurts.  

 Favorite Lyric(s):

“I know I’m just a wrinkle in your new life

Staying friends would iron it out so nice

Guilty, guilty, reaching out across the sea

That you put between you and me”

 4. Fun to Play with Friends

– “no Body, no Crime” (feat. HAIM)

With the 3 Haim sisters, Taylor writes a scandolous story-driven song about murder, mistresses, and cover-ups.  (This is making me realize how much I need a Taylor Swift musical.  One day!). This song, which took me a lot to get used to, is one I put on to sing loudly with my roommates.  

At my first listen, I found the siren in the beginning off putting, so it was difficult for me to appreciate this song immediately.  It is not my favorite to listen to by myself, but putting this on with friends unleashes an unrivaled feral energy.  

 Favorite Lyric(s):

    “She says, ‘that ain’t my Merlot on his mouth

    That ain’t my jewelry on our joint account’

    No, there ain’t no doubt

    I think i’m gonna call him out”

Lauren Smith

Emmanuel '23

Lauren Smith (she/they) is a student at Emmanuel College studying Theater Arts and Writing, Editing, and Publishing. Personality wise, she considers herself a mix of Nancy Drew and Cher Horowitz. In her free time, she's busy making earrings, watching Criminal Minds, and baking banana bread.
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