|Studio album by|
|Released||December 11, 2020|
|Taylor Swift chronology|
|Singles from Evermore|
Evermore (stylized in all lowercase) is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It was released on December 11, 2020, through Republic Records, less than five months after the singer's eighth studio album, Folklore. Evermore was a spontaneous product of Swift's extended collaboration with her Folklore co-producer Aaron Dessner, with whom she developed a creative chemistry.
As the thematic sequel to its predecessor, Swift called Evermore the "sister record" of Folklore, both of them being surprise albums announced hours before launch. Evermore is an alternative rock, folk-pop and chamber rock record that blends wintry arrangements of fingerpicked guitars, soft pianos and sparse strings. Its subject matter is built around impressionist storytelling and mythmaking, comprising tales of love, marriage, infidelity, and grief. American bands Bon Iver, Haim, and the National contribute guest vocals. Evermore received universal acclaim from music critics, many of whom praised its character dynamics, experimental production, and companionship to Folklore. Many publications placed Evermore on their year-end best albums lists of 2020.
The album reached number one in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, New Zealand, Portugal, Greece, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It opened atop the Billboard 200, made Swift the first woman in US history to amass eight consecutive number-one debuts, and broke the Guinness World Record for the shortest gap between two number-one albums by a female act. Its lead single "Willow" became Swift's seventh number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100, and her second in 2020 after "Cardigan", making her the first act to simultaneously debut atop both Billboard 200 and Hot 100 charts twice. Swift also garnered the records for the shortest gap between two Australian number-one albums and the fastest woman to collect six number-one albums in the UK. Republic Records reported more than two million copies of Evermore sold in its first week globally.
On July 24, 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Swift surprise-released her eighth studio album, Folklore, to widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. It became the best-selling album of 2020 and garnered five nominations at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, winning Album of the Year. On November 25, 2020, a documentary concert film titled Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions was released on Disney+. It detailed the creative process behind Folklore with the performances of the album in its entirety. On December 10, 2020, three days before her 31st birthday, Swift uploaded nine photos on Instagram, which together formed a grid image of the album cover, which depicts the singer's back. In another immediate post across all her social media accounts, she announced that her ninth studio album, titled Evermore, will be released at midnight. She revealed the tracklisting and added that a music video for its opening track, "Willow", would premiere on YouTube alongside the album's release.
Referring to lockdown regulations in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Swift wrote: "You've all been so caring, supportive and thoughtful on my birthdays and so this time I thought I would give you something! I also know this holiday season will be a lonely one for most of us and if there are any of you out there who turn to music to cope with missing loved ones the way I do, this is for you". Prior to the premiere of the "Willow" music video, Swift likened Evermore to fall and winter, in contrast to its predecessor's spring and summer.
To put it plainly, we just couldn't stop writing songs. To try and put it more poetically, it feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or to travel further into the forest of this music. We chose to wander deeper in ... I've never done this before. In the past I've always treated albums as one-off eras and moved onto planning the next one after an album was released. There was something different with Folklore. In making it, I felt less like I was departing and more like I was returning. I loved the escapism I found in these imaginary/not imaginary tales. I loved the ways you welcomed the dreamscapes and tragedies and epic tales of love lost and found into your lives. So I just kept writing them.
In spite of releasing Folklore, Swift continued to work remotely with Dessner, who would send her his instrumental tracks, to which she would write the lyrics. Spontaneously, these sessions resulted in a project that was a natural extension of Folklore. This extension soon assumed its individual identity, giving rise to Evermore. Dessner stated that he "didn't need to talk much about structure or ideas or anything" with Swift, and deemed Evermore as a "weird avalanche" effecting from Folklore. In comparison to its predecessor, the development of Evermore was a more experimental process, during which Swift and Dessner did not subject themselves to any limitations. In an interview with Zane Lowe, Swift stated that Evermore gave her a feeling of "sort of quiet conclusion and sort of this weird serenity", after putting out Folklore.
Swift embraced the style of songwriting that stemmed from Folklore—lyricism rooted in first-person fiction. Like its predecessor, Evermore is also a product of remote collaboration and virtual communication, and was recorded in total secrecy. Aaron Dessner produced all of the album's tracks except "Gold Rush", which was produced by Jack Antonoff. All tracks of Evermore except "Cowboy like Me" were recorded at Long Pond Studio, during the making of Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, Swift's 2020 documentary.
After the release of Folklore, Swift wrote two songs, "Closure" and "Dorothea", for Big Red Machine, Dessner's band with Justin Vernon, but they ended up being on Evermore. To celebrate Folklore, Dessner casually created an instrumental track "Westerly", named after the location of her Rhode Island home. An hour later, Swift wrote "Willow" to the track and sent him back. She wrote the title track "Evermore" with Joe Alwyn (credited under the pseudonym William Bowery) and then sent it to Vernon, the frontman of Bon Iver, who added a bridge. Dessner realized that they were creating a sister album to Folklore only after the duo wrote more than seven songs. Dessner composed "Tolerate It" on a piano in 10
8 time signature and sent it to Swift, who conjured a scene in her mind upon hearing the track, and sent back the track with finished lyrics. Dessner stated that he "cried when [he] first heard" the song's lyrics.
Swift traveled to Dessner's studio in upstate New York to film Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions. He narrated, "we played all night and drank a lot of wine after the fireside chat—and we were all pretty drunk, to be honest". Once filming was complete, Swift stayed at Long Pond overnight, to record with Dessner and Antonoff. The next morning, Swift approached Dessner in his kitchen with "'Tis the Damn Season" which she wrote in the middle of the night, and sang it to him. Dessner cited "'Tis the Damn Season" as one of his favorite works ever, and that it could have just remained as instrumental music, but instead, Swift's "incredible storytelling ability and musical ability took it and made something much great".
"No Body, No Crime" was inspired by Swift's "obsession with true crime podcasts/documentaries". She self-wrote the song on a rubber-bridge guitar and mailed Dessner a voice memo of it, after which he started producing it. Swift had specific ideas on how she wanted the song, including a guest feature from Haim. The Haim sisters recorded in Los Angeles, and forwarded it to Swift, who was at Long Pond. The harmonica and guitar riffs on the song were played by Josh Kaufman, who also played the harmonica on "Betty" from Folklore. JT Bates played the drums on "No Body, No Crime", and also contributed the drums on "Dorothea".
I've rarely had this kind of chemistry with anyone in my life—to be able to write together, to make so many beautiful songs together in such a short period of time. Inevitably, I think we will continue to be in each other's artistic and personal lives. I don't know exactly what the next form that will take, but certainly, it will continue. I do think this story, this era, has concluded, and I think in such a beautiful way with these sister records.— Aaron Dessner on collaborating with Swift on Evermore and Folklore, Rolling Stone
Dessner and his twin brother, Bryce Dessner, sent Swift some of the instrumentals they made for their band, the National. One of those was what would become "Coney Island". Swift and Alwyn wrote its lyrics, and recorded it with her vocals. After listening to the demo, the Dessner brothers observed that the song feels very related to the National, and envisioned Matt Berninger (lead vocalist of the National) singing it, and Bryan Devendorf (the band's drummer) playing its drums. Aaron Dessner informed Berninger, who was "excited" for the idea. The band assembled, Devendorf played the drums, while his brother Scott Devendorf played the bass and pocket piano; Bryce Dessner helped produce the song.
"Marjorie" was an instrumental precursor to "Peace", the fifteenth track on Folklore. The latter's drone is present in the former's bridge. The backing rhythm of "Marjorie" was composed from an "Allovers Hi-hat Generator", a software developed by Minnesotan producer Ryan Olson, which has been used in many songs by Big Red Machine. The instrument takes any sound and splits them into samples, and regenerates them in randomized musical patterns. Dessner went through the patterns, picked his favorite parts, looped them, developed them into an instrumental, and sent it to Swift, who wrote "Marjorie" to it, a song about her maternal grandmother and opera singer, Marjorie Finlay. Swift also sent a folder of Finlay's old opera records to Dessner, who sampled some of it on the song. "Right Where You Left Me" and "Happiness" were written days before Evermore was finished. Dessner had been working on the composition of "Happiness" since 2019, thinking it would be a song for Big Red Machine; however, Swift admired its instrumentals and ended up finishing its lyrics. "Right Where You Left Me" was for Big Red Machine as well, before Swift heard it and wrote its lyrics.
Vernon was profoundly involved in Evermore more than Folklore. He played the drums on "Cowboy like Me" and "Closure", guitar and banjo on "Ivy", and contributed backing vocals in "Marjorie". For "Closure", he processed Swift's vocals through his Messina vocal modifier, which distorts her soft timbre into a robotic growl. "Cowboy like Me" was recorded at Scarlet Pimpernel Studios, located in the UK, owned by Marcus Mumford, the lead singer of English folk rock band Mumford & Sons; Mumford provided backing vocals on the song. In "Ivy", Dessner added sleigh bells to invoke winter-oriented emotions, coinciding with the song's wintry imagery. He intentionally added "a wintry nostalgia" to most of the music in Evermore, leaning towards the idea that the album manifests fall and winter, as Swift told him about how Folklore feels like spring and summer to her, while Evermore is fall and winter. Dessner opined that mixing the album's 17 songs was a "Herculean task" and that the sound engineer Jon Low thought that they would not finish the album on time.
Evermore has been described as a sequel, B-side, second chapter, or a companion record to Folklore. The standard edition of Evermore is one hour long, consisting of 15 tracks, while the deluxe edition adds two bonus songs. The album features guest appearances from three American bands—Haim, the National and Bon Iver on "No Body, No Crime", "Coney Island", and "Evermore", respectively—and background vocals from Marcus Mumford on "Cowboy like Me". Evermore was written and produced by Swift, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner and Antonoff, with additional production credits to BJ Burton and James McAlister on "Closure", and additional writing credits to Joe Alwyn (under the pseudonym William Bowery) on "Champagne Problems", "Coney Island" and "Evermore", and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on "Evermore".
Evermore is an alternative rock, chamber rock and folk-pop album with country elements. It incorporates its predecessor's minimal, lo-fi, and indie-folk styles, but looser and more experimental in its production. The album is characterized by its acoustic core and wintry mood, consisting of sparse arrangements, slow-burning melodies, burbling, fingerpicked acoustic guitars, swaying electric guitars, soft, smooth, and somber pianos, warm and woozy synthesizers, mandolin, twangy banjos, throbbing drum machines, lush strings, electronic thrums, subtle layers of Mellotrons, flute, French horn, cellos, Swift's mellifluous vocals, and gauzy backing vocals drenched in a misty atmosphere.
Rolling Stone wrote that Evermore deepens Swift's goth-folk vision. Hits described the album's sonic palette as "watery" and "hypnotic". The Daily Telegraph said that there is no sense of tempo or urgency in its songs, departing from the stadium-suited tempos of Swift's earlier works. According to critic Tom Hull, while Swift remains attentive to "production details", Evermore follows Folklore in abandoning "pop glitz" in favor of "straightforward songcraft" due in part to the pandemic shifting Swift's focus from arenas to homely settings. Stereogum described it as "a soft, meditative, consciously quiet" album of "restorative old-school singer-songwriter music". In Slate's opinion, Evermore has a more spacious ambience with lots of break, unlike the "maximalist-minimalism" of Folklore, which had "layers upon layers of restrained instrumental lines".
Evermore is an intimate album heavily rooted in elaborate first-person storytelling from third-person perspectives, character studies, and narrative mythmaking, as an extension of Folklore. It ventures deeper inside the imaginary world Swift built with Folklore, blending facts and fiction. Both albums share a common escapist concept, but unlike Folklore's more introspective, romantic nature, Evermore is freeing, bold, uninhibited, playful, impressionist, and confessional in tone, delving extensively into Swift's ideas of adult love and pain. The songs generally ruminate themes of forbidden love, romantic neglect, forgiveness, marriage, and infidelity, revolving around a diverse set of characters (like those in Folklore) throughout the album's tracks, such as embattled couples, scorned friends, and complicated women. Evermore also analyses conflicted emotions and an event's possible outcomes, aside "noirish twists" in plots.
Akin to its sister album, Evermore contains several references to nature, landscapes and objects in the sky, such as crescent moon, sunrise, comets, amber skies, precipice, willow, clover and ivy. Swift's trademark turns of phrase and wordplay are also abundant in the album. Variety observed that "warmth amid iciness" is its recurring lyrical motif. American Songwriter opined that Evermore has Swift mostly exuding "the 'unhappily ever after' anthology of marriages gone bad". Slate also called the album an anthology, that "emphasizes her leap away from autobiography into songs that are either pure fictions or else lyrically symbolic in ways that don't act as romans à clef". Stereogum labeled the album "observational fiction". Pitchfork noted that Swift remains a versatile, expressive vocalist, and a "wordy" lyricist by mimicking the sound of "rushing, restless endorphins ... to magnify sad, small moments". Spin remarked the "exceedingly complex human emotions" Swift unravels in Evermore with "precision and devastation".
Evermore opens with "Willow", a chill chamber folk love song propelled by picked guitars coupled with glockenspiel, indie-folk orchestrations, programmed drums, and a breathless chorus. "Champagne Problems" is a mournful ballad with spacious, lo-fi, oompah piano chords that entwine with guitar arpeggios, and choir vocals. It depicts a difficult girlfriend whose personal struggles disrupt her romantic relationship, lead her to turn down her lover's earnest proposal and take responsibility for the heartbreak. "Gold Rush" is a nimble chamber-pop song with drums, horns, violins, swiveling shifts in tempo, and a dreamy chorus. Its frenzy verses are couplets delivered in a pulsating rhythm over persistent beats, with a red herring in its intro and outro made of layered vocals. While expressing jealousy and insecurity towards an attractive subject, the song limns the narrator's infatuation for the subject in a daydream, with references to California Gold Rush.
The fourth track, "'Tis the Damn Season", is a Christmas song that pulls a twist on festive balladry. It sees a female narrator arrive to her hometown Tupelo for holidays, where she encounters her former lover and ends up in bed with him despite knowing the rekindled flame will not lead anywhere. The song is built around an electric guitar riff, and its narrator is revealed to be a character named Dorothea, later in the album. Chronicling a young woman in an age-gap relationship, "Tolerate It" is the internal agony of the resentful protagonist looking to terminate the unbalanced relationship with her unappreciative partner. The slow-building ballad is guided by muffled notes of piano and tense synth-beats. Opening with police sirens, the twangy and cinematic "No Body, No Crime" is a country, pop rock, and country rock song. Featuring Haim's harmonies, it tells a macabre story of a woman named Este murdered by her unfaithful husband in favor of his mistress; the narrator, a friend of Este, takes revenge by murdering Este's husband.
"Happiness", the melancholic seventh track, is an ambient post-breakup/divorce ballad with a delicate arrangement of hazy synthesizers, hi-hats, violin, bass, organs, piano and a soaring drone. It channels a stream of consciousness, in which the narrator empathizes with the subject, contemplates the split, and apologizes for losing track of facts, affirming that she will find happiness again. "Dorothea" is an Americana song from the perspective of the male subject in "'Tis the Damn Season", who stays in Tupelo while his high-school lover, Dorothea, moves to Los Angeles to pursue a Hollywood career. He narrates his backstories of her, such as a skipped prom and feelings of separation, and convinces the TV-famous Dorothea to return to the simplicity of rural life. It is steered by an idyllic honky-tonk piano, tambourine, guitars, and notes of Swift's lower register. The song has been compared to "Betty" due to their similar perspectives.
"Coney Island", the ninth track, is an alternative rock, waltz and indie-folk duet with Matt Berninger of the National. The song depicts suburban nostalgia and recollects a couple's memories in Coney Island, New York City; Swift's melodious vocals counterpoint Berninger's mumbled baritone. "Ivy" is a folk song with Swift's elastic vocals and a jaunty chorus, that documents a married woman's infidelity, over a ticking arrangement of banjo, picked guitar, trumpet, and Vernon's gentle harmonies. It conveys her temptation for her secret lover and the realistic consequences that may hinder their affair, using a metaphor of ivy vines growing over a stone house to represent her deep-rooted attachment to her lover.
Swift sings about two "gold-digging" con artists in the eleventh track, "Cowboy like Me", who fall in love while frequenting resorts, trying to impress rich beneficiaries. It is an alternative, country, folk rock, and blues tune, with hushed guitars, harmonica riff, mandolin, piano, lap steel, and Mumford's backing vocals. "Long Story Short" is a pop-infused indie rock song with a rousing post-chorus hook, explosive guitars, strings, crisp beats of live drums and drum machine. Swift retreads Reputation (2017) in the song, summarizing her life's worse moments and her personal redemption. The poignant "Marjorie" details Swift's grief and guilt over her grandmother and opera singer, Marjorie Finlay, who passed away when Swift was 13 years old. Its lyrics consist of Finlay's advices to her granddaughter, as well as Swift's memories and regrets. The gentle production samples Finlay's soprano vocals over buzzing synths, pizzicato strings, drone, pulse, cello, and a pulsing keyboard arrangement, ending with an ethereal outro. "Marjorie" parallels the thirteenth track on Folklore, "Epiphany", which honors Swift's grandfather.
"Closure", the fourteenth track, is Swift's kiss-off to its subject, a reply to their self-serving request, fake niceties, and pretentious amity. It is an electroacoustic and industrial folk song characterized by its unusual 5
4 time signature, and a distinctive, skittering production of brass, piano, to-and-fro strings, electronic creaks, clattering percussion, and synthesized drums. The album ends with the title track "Evermore", a piano ballad that progresses into a thrilling bridge after a tempo shift, where Swift is joined midway by Justin Vernon's signature falsetto in a call and response. Swift navigates depression, desolation and negative thoughts in her verses, in contrast to Vernon's optimistic and supportive verses that attempt to soothe her, resulting in her realization that her pain is not permanent.
The deluxe edition of Evermore includes two bonus tracks: "Right Where You Left Me" portrays the heart-rending fate of a love frozen in time, over dreamy acoustics of twangy guitars. Similarly, "It's Time to Go" is a bleak song about the narrator's knowledge of when to exit a relationship, such as a friendship, featuring tales of divorce and losing a dream career to an unfit individual; the song contains references to the sale of the masters of Swift's first six studio albums.
Following the lush, ghostly, woodland aesthetic of Folklore, Evermore takes upon a wintry theme, a yuletide version of the former's cottagecore. Time stated that Folklore is a muted, autumnal palette of sounds and feelings, whereas Evermore is its winter companion with lingering sadness and regret. While Folklore adapts a grayscale monochrome, Evermore employs colors.
The cover artwork of Evermore shows Swift in a barren field, facing away from the camera, looking over bare trees in the distance, which reflect the last glow of an autumnal sunset. She is seen standing at the edge of a forested area, whereas on the cover of Folklore, she was seen inside a forest. Her hair is styled in a French braid, as she wears a single-breasted, brown and orange checked flannel coat designed by Stella McCartney, who revealed that it was a sustainable piece from her "23 Old Bond Street Limited Edition Collection", priced at $2,875. The braid has 31 turns, which has been connected with how the album was released two days before her 31st-birthday. The Wall Street Journal opined that Swift's "every aesthetic decision is deeply intentional and inevitably influential", and her hairstyle in the artwork is "more than just a braid", a poignant statement. Stylist called the hairstyle "messy-yet-chic". Adam Reed, UK editorial ambassador for French beauty company L'Oréal, admired Swift's braid and described it as "simple, supernatural and timeless".
Evermore was released on December 11, 2020, two days before Swift's thirty-first birthday, to digital music and streaming platforms only. It is a companion record to its predecessor, Folklore, which was launched less five months prior; both of the projects are surprise albums, announced 16 hours prior to their releases at midnight. Evermore marked the second time Swift abandoned her traditional month-long rollout to release an album, after Folklore.
The album's CDs were released on December 18, 2020. The bonus tracks of the deluxe edition of Evermore, "Right Where You Left Me" and "It's Time to Go", which were formerly physical-exclusive, were released to streaming services on January 7, 2021. Cassette tapes and vinyl records of Evermore were made available on February 21, and May 28, 2021, respectively. Billboard reported that the delayed release of the album's physical formats is owed to its surprise release and the time it takes to manufacture physical editions, specifically the vinyl copies. Autographed CDs were available at select independent record stores.
On December 14, 2020, Swift appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. On the December 15, 2020 episode of Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show, English singer-songwriter Paul McCartney revealed that Swift originally decided to postpone the release of Evermore by one week to respect the original December 11 release date of his eighteenth studio album, McCartney III; upon learning this, McCartney decided to release his album on December 18 instead so that Swift could move forward with the rollout of Evermore as initially planned. Three six-song compilations consisting of tracks from both Folklore and Evermore, titled The Dropped Your Hand While Dancing Chapter, The Forever Is The Sweetest Con Chapter, and The Ladies Lunching Chapter (all stylized in all lowercase), were released to streaming platforms on January 21, January 27, and February 4, 2021, respectively.
"Willow" was released as the lead single of Evermore, alongside the album itself, on December 11, 2020. The song was accompanied with a music video directed by Swift. The single reached number-one in Australia, Canada and the United States. According to Billboard, three of the album's tracks were sent to different radio formats—a rollout that was adapted for Folklore as well. "Willow" impacted US adult contemporary and pop radio formats on December 14 and 15, 2020, respectively; "No Body, No Crime" was sent by MCA Nashville to US country radio stations on January 11, 2021, aside "Coney Island", which was promoted to US adult album alternative (Triple A) radio on January 18, 2021. Before their radio impacts, "No Body, No Crime" had reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs upon the album's release, while "Coney Island" peaked at number 12 on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart.
|And It Don't Stop||A–|
|The A.V. Club||A–|
|The Sydney Morning Herald|||
Evermore was met with widespread acclaim upon release, with several critics admiring its kinship with Folklore and Swift's expansion of her musical boundaries. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized score out of 100 to ratings from publications, the album received a weighted mean score of 85 based on 29 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
Distinguishing Swift as an unrivaled songwriter, Brodie Lancaster of The Sydney Morning Herald found Evermore traveling deeper into the singer's fictitious narratives, and praised the depth and variety of its characters. NME critic Hannah Mylrea opined that Swift pushes her indie reinvention further in Evermore, terming it a "freewheeling younger sibling" while Folklore is the "introspective, romantic older sister"; Mylrea thought Evermore is looser and more experimental, expanding on its predecessor's sonic palette. In congruence, American Songwriter designated Folklore as the "archetypal older sister—a careful, yet hopeless romantic" whereas Evermore is the "bold, scrappy younger one", with the latter being a yuletide evolution of the former's sound. Maura Johnston, writing for Entertainment Weekly, asserted that Swift "levels up" on Evermore by taking musical risks, and dubbed the sister albums a career-high for the singer.
Spin critic Bobby Olivier thought that the "career-redefining" album finds Swift at her prime, joining "the pantheon of songwriters who consistently deliver despite unimaginable expectations". He regarded Evermore as a stronger work than Folklore. Annie Zaleski of The A.V. Club also chose Evermore over Folklore, and noted that the former continues the latter's "universe-building" with stronger songwriting and greater sonic cohesion. Writing for The Guardian, Alexis Petridis thought Evermore continues Swift's departure to alternative rock from mainstream pop, and compared it to her country-to-pop transition in Red (2012); he added that it proves her ability to switch genres easily. Calling it heartfelt and ruminative, McCormick in The Daily Telegraph lauded the album's emotional songcraft and unhurried tempo, remarking that its songs are not for stadiums.
Patrick Ryan of USA Today gave plaudits to its mystical instrumentation and escapist lyricism, and stressed that Evermore is not a vestige of Folklore, but rather a sister that reinforces Swift's strengths. In her Rolling Stone review, Claire Shaffer saw the album embracing new genres and ambitious storytelling, and welcomed Swift's new artistic direction. The Independent writer Helen Brown deemed the songs haunting and contemplative, and likened their storytelling to a campfire setting. Jason Lipshutz of Billboard stated that the album is more progressive and audacious than Folklore, although posing as a sequel at first. He explained that Evermore explores the complications of adult love more extensively than its predecessor, and flaunts Swift's boldest and richest songwriting.
Variety critic Chris Willman praised the album's subliminal production and Swift's agile vocals, and underlined its impressionist style of storytelling that converges only after multiple listens. Stereogum's Tom Breihan named it an expertful "full-on winter album" populated by subtle growers shrouded in a sedative atmosphere. Jon Pareles of The New York Times commended its diligent sound and poised lyrics, and noted that it contains more character studies than Folklore. In less favorable reviews, Chris Richards of The Washington Post found the album overlong and rejected the notion of categorizing Swift's 2020 works as indie. Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times felt that Evermore is Folklore's leftovers and "simply repeats its trick", but picked "Tolerate It", "Gold Rush", "Champagne Problems", "No Body, No Crime" and "Dorothea" as highlights.
By the time Swift unveiled the album, most publications had already issued their year-end best albums lists for 2020. Evermore was included on lists published after December 11, 2020, topping those by USA Today, NJ.com, and Variety critic Chris Willman.
|The Boston Globe||Top 12 Best Pop Albums of 2020||
|Folklore also listed|
|Chorus.fm||Top 30 Albums of 2020||
|Folklore ranked second|
|Complex||Waiss Aramesh's Albums of 2020||
|Folklore ranked third|
|Edwin Ortiz's Albums of 2020|
|Good Morning America||The 50 best albums of 2020||7||Tied with Folklore|||
|Herald Sun||The Best Albums of 2020||
|Folklore also listed|
|Financial Times||Best 10 Albums of 2020||9||Tied with Folklore|||
|KIIS-FM||Tanya Rad's Favorite Albums of 2020||N/A||Folklore also listed|||
|Metacritic||The 40 Best Albums of 2020||22||Folklore at 8|||
|Best Albums, by Year 2020||45||Folklore at 12|||
|Best of 2020: Music Critic Top Ten Lists||20||Folklore at 3|||
|Metro Times||Best New Music of 2020||
|Tied with Folklore|
|NJ.com||The 50 Albums That Saved Us From 2020||1||Tied with Folklore|||
|Our Culture Mag||The 50 Best Albums of 2020||4||Tied with Folklore|||
|The Philadelphia Inquirer||Top Pop Music Albums||6||Tied with Folklore|||
|PopSugar||The 50 Best Albums of 2020||
|Folklore at 16|
|Rolling Stone||Rob Sheffield's Top 20 Albums of 2020||5||Folklore ranked first|||
|Slate||The Music Club, 2020||2||Tied with Folklore|||
|South China Morning Post||The Best Albums of 2020||
|Folklore ranked first|
|Star Tribune||Jon Bream's Top 10 Albums||
|Tied with Folklore|
|USA Today||The 10 Best Albums of 2020||1||Tied with Folklore|||
|Variety||Chris Willman's Best Albums of 2020||1||Tied with Folklore|||
|Wales Arts Review||Our Favourite 50 Albums Of 2020||9||Tied with Folklore|||
|Yahoo! Entertainment||Lori Majewski's Top 10||
|Folklore ranked first|
|Guinness World Records||2020||Shortest Gap Between New No.1 Albums on the U.S. Billboard 200 (Female)||Won|||
Available only via digital music and streaming platforms, Republic Records reported over a million copies of Evermore sold in its first-week worldwide, marking Swift's third album in 16 months to do so, and her eighth consecutive studio album to achieve it; all her studio albums, except her 2006 debut album, moved a million copies in their opening weeks. All of the album's 16 tracks entered the top 75 of the Billboard Global 200 chart. Aided by Evermore and Folklore, Swift was 2020's top streamed artist on Amazon Music across all genres. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) named her the best-selling solo artist and female artist of 2020, and second overall.
Evermore debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and topped the chart for four weeks. It opened with 329,000 units, consisting of 220.49 million on-demand streams and 154,000 pure copies; it earned the biggest sales week for an album since her own Folklore, as well as since bundles and concert ticket offers stopped factoring. Evermore is Swift's second number-one album in 2020 and eighth consecutive number-one debut, making her the third woman with eight number-one albums, behind Barbra Streisand (11 number-ones) and Madonna (9). Alongside Folklore at number three, Swift became the first woman in the chart's history to simultaneously have two albums in the top-three. The gap between the number-one debuts of Folklore and Evermore was 140 days, breaking the Guinness World Record for the shortest gap between two chart-topping albums by a woman on the Billboard 200. The album also topped the Alternative Albums chart, replacing Folklore from the top.
All of the album's 15 tracks entered the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously, generating five top-40 hits. Evermore became Swift's third album to chart all of its standard tracks together, after Lover (2019) and Folklore. Swift became the woman with the most Hot 100 hits in history with 128, regaining the record from Nicki Minaj. "Willow" landed at number one, scoring her seventh number-one single in the US, second number-one hit in 2020, and the third number-one debut of her career. It made her the first act in history to simultaneously debut an album and a single atop both Billboard 200 and Hot 100 charts at two occasions, following Folklore and "Cardigan" (2020). All tracks appeared on Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart as well, except "No Body, No Crime" which debuted at number two on the Hot Country Songs. Due to eight tracks from Folklore remaining on the chart alongside the 14 from Evermore, Swift occupied 22 of the chart's 50 positions—the second most simultaneous entries in the chart's history, behind Linkin Park (23 entries). On the Hot Alternative Songs, Swift claimed 16 spots, beating Machine Gun Kelly's record.
Despite its availability for the last two weeks of 2020 only, Evermore became one of the top 10 best-selling albums of 2020. It landed at number eight on Rolling Stone's best-sellers list, and number 10 on Nielsen SoundScan's best selling albums of 2020 with 283,000 sales; its sister record, Folklore, was the top best-seller of 2020.
As of April 2021, Evermore has moved over a million units in the US, of which 391,000 are pure sales. In June 2021, the album scored its fourth week atop the Billboard 200 with 202,000 units, following its vinyl release. 192,000 of that sum were pure sales, surpassing her own Fearless (Taylor's Version) for the largest sales week of 2021. It marked the 53rd chart-topping week of Swift's career, extending her record as the female act with the most weeks at number one in Billboard 200 history and the third-most weeks overall, only behind the Beatles and Elvis Presley. The album sold 102,000 vinyl copies in the same week, breaking the former record by Jack White's Lazaretto (40,000) for the biggest sales week for vinyl LPs since MRC Data began tracking sales in 1991. Evermore became the best-selling CD and vinyl album of 2021.
In Canada, Evermore appeared at the top spot of Billboard Canadian Albums chart, yielding Swift her eighth Canadian number-one album, and her second in 2020. The album spent three weeks atop the chart. Every track from Evermore debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 simultaneously—Swift's third album to do so, after Lover and Folklore. All the tracks except "Closure" landed in the chart's top-50; "Willow" became her seventh Canadian number-one hit, with "Champagne Problems" at number 6, "No Body, No Crime" at 11, "'Tis the Damn Season" at 13, "Gold Rush" at 14, and "Tolerate It" at 18. Swift hence amassed 30 top-10 hits and 131 total entries in Canada.
In Australia, Swift achieved a "Chart Double" by occupying the top spots of both albums and singles charts simultaneously. Evermore entered at number one on the ARIA Albums Chart, garnering her seventh chart-topping album. Collecting her second number-one album of the year 19 weeks after Folklore, Swift broke the record for the shortest gap between two successive number-ones, surpassing the 25 weeks between Ariana Grande's Sweetener (2018) and Thank U, Next (2019). "Willow" debuted atop the ARIA Singles Chart, accompanied by 11 other fellow tracks. It marked her seventh Australian number-one hit, and the second in 2020 after "Cardigan". Evermore spent four consecutive weeks at number-one in Australia, tying with Folklore as her second longest-running chart-topper, behind 1989 (11 weeks).
In the United Kingdom, Evermore topped the UK Albums Chart for two weeks. It made Swift the fastest female artist to accumulate six number-one albums in the country (in eight years, 2012–2020), surpassing Madonna (11 years, 1997–2008), and the first female artist to score six chart-toppers in the 21st-century. The album is her second number-one album in 2020 after Folklore, establishing her as the first act to score multiple chart-topping albums in a calendar year, since David Bowie in 2016. Evermore also topped the UK's Vinyl Albums chart, and the Americana Albums chart where it spent 16 weeks at number one. On the Official Singles Chart, "Willow" landed at number three and gave Swift her eleventh top-5 hit, while tracks "Champagne Problems" and "No Body, No Crime" arrived at numbers 15 and 19, respectively, increasing her UK top-20 hits total to 21.
In many European territories, Evermore peaked on charts multiple weeks after its release. It reached number one in Flanders in its sixth week on the Ultratop 200 Albums, after debuting at number two. It marked Swift's fifth consecutive number-one album in the Belgian region. Evermore peaked at number two on the Irish Albums Chart in its third week. It opened at number three in its debut week, marking Swift's sixth consecutive top-three album in Ireland; it was the most downloaded and streamed album of the week. Simultaneously, "Willow" also placed at number three on Irish Singles Chart, alongside tracks "Champagne Problems" and "No Body, No Crime" at sixth and eleventh spots, respectively, rising Swift's sum of top-50 hits to 38. On the Scottish Albums Chart, Evermore opened at number five, but peaked at number three after 25 weeks. In Germany, the album opened at number 24 on the Offizielle Top 100 and rose to number 6 the next week; on the chart dated June 6, 2021, it ascended to number 5.
In New Zealand, the album launched atop the Top40 Albums chart, while its tracks "Willow", "Champagne Problems", "No Body, No Crime" and "Gold Rush" charted at numbers 3, 24, 29 and 34 on the Top40 Singles chart, respectively. In Singapore, "Willow", "Champagne Problems", "Gold Rush" and "No Body, No Crime" entered the Singaporean Top-30 Singles chart, with the former at number-one.
Following Evermore's release, searches for plaid coats jumped 49% in one day. Google Trends data also showed a significant spike in searches for tartan toppers during the same timeframe. Replicas of the flannel coat Swift is seen wearing on the cover artwork, quickly sold out on Farfetch.
Swift's fast-succeeding release of Evermore after Folklore was met with praise. Variety compared the double-release to that of the Beatles and U2, especially to the latter releasing Zooropa (1993) during the tour for Achtung Baby (1991), while Rolling Stone dubbed it a "hot streak" reminiscent of Prince in 1987 and David Bowie in 1977. Vulture stated that the news of another surprise album from Swift "came as a major shock", as she has been "the industry's most prominent loyalist to the pop-album rollout", who turns her carefully planned releases into "an art of their own". Branding it a testament to her artistic dedication, Our Culture Mag praised Swift's ability to make an album on-par with its predecessor in a short time, while simultaneously re-recording her first six studio albums. NJ.com thanked Swift for making the "miserable year" a little more endurable, adding that no other artist of her stature "created so relentlessly" in 2020. The Sydney Morning Herald named her "the queen of pandemic productivity".
The New York Times said Evermore marked a crucial moment in Swift's career and creative development. CNN named Swift among the celebrities who "lifted our spirits" during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Times named her "pop star of the year" for putting out two albums that "won over new audience". Evermore and Folklore have been lauded as two of 2020's seminal albums. As per Vox, the albums threw emphasis on Swift's work ethic, helped critics recognize her musicianship and view her as a dedicated songstress, moving away from the "try-hard" pop star of her mid-2010s. Billboard cited the two albums as the most notable examples for how the pandemic veered music in 2020, and forced artists to amend their creative process. Arre wrote that Swift bottled the pandemic's cultural crisis in two escapist albums, transporting listeners to "a simpler world whose sensibility is cottagecore instead of apocalyptic", and added that future generations will get an idea of 2020 through the sister albums, which condense emotions "impossible to articulate".
On February 2, 2021, Evermore Park, a fantasy theme park in Pleasant Grove, Utah, filed a lawsuit against Swift and her team for allegedly infringing its "EVERMORE" trademark, seeking to prevent Swift's further use of the word, and demanded "statutory damages of $2 million per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold" or a part of revenues from the use of the title, including legal fees. The park's counsel had sent a cease-and-desist letter to Swift's counsel on December 29, 2020, to which the singer's counsel declined to abide, writing in reply that: "If anything, your client's website traffic has actually increased as a result of the release of Ms. Swift's recent album which, in turn could only serve to enhance your client's mark".
The park claimed that the title of Swift's album Evermore confuses consumers, and negatively affects the park's searchability. According to the court documents submitted by the park, the park's visitors enquired the staff about whether the album was a collaboration between Swift and the park, and that on the day Evermore was announced (December 10, 2020), the traffic on the park's official website surged by 330.4% in comparison to the previous day, affecting the park's "Google footprint". The lawsuit also mentions the park's merchandise and original music on streaming platforms under the "EVERMORE" trademark, claiming Swift's album has made them "harder to find".
Swift's team denied the accusations in a letter filed in court, referring to the suit as "baseless". The letter stated that "it is inconceivable that there is any likelihood of confusion between your client's theme park and related products and Ms. Swift's music and related products", and claimed that the park's merchandise, such as "small dragon eggs, guild patches, and a small dragon mount" are not similar to the products sold on Swift's website. In a Billboard statement, Swift's spokesperson called the suit "frivolous" and disputed its "true intent", highlighting a Utah Business report, according to which, the park's founder and CEO Ken Bretschneider "has had at least five lawsuits filed against him and the Evermore group by major construction companies, claiming they are owed between $28,000 and $400,000 in construction, mechanic and landscaping fees. Smaller subcontractors who did work on the park have also filed more than 20 construction liens on the Evermore property".
On February 24, 2021, TAS Rights Management (Swift's trademark and copyrights company) countersued the theme park for allegedly infringing Swift's songs "Love Story", "You Belong with Me" and "Bad Blood" by regularly using them in their performances without a proper license. The management claimed that the park "blatantly ignored the numerous notices from BMI and opted instead to continue to benefit from the free and unauthorized public performance of [the songs], despite actual knowledge of the liability and substantial penalties imposed by the Copyright Act to protect artists", and pointed out that Bretschneider reached out to BMI "seeking a retroactive license that would cover all performances from 2018 through 2021" after anticipating a lawsuit from Swift's management.
In March 2021, Swift's spokesperson reported that, as a resolution, both parties have decided to "drop and dismiss their respective suits without monetary settlement".
|4.||"’Tis the Damn Season"||A. Dessner||3:49|
|5.||"Tolerate It"||A. Dessner||4:05|
|6.||"No Body, No Crime" (featuring Haim)||Swift||3:35|
|9.||"Coney Island" (featuring the National)||4:35|
|11.||"Cowboy like Me"||A. Dessner||4:35|
|12.||"Long Story Short"||A. Dessner||3:35|
|15.||"Evermore" (featuring Bon Iver)||5:04|
|16.||"Right Where You Left Me"||A. Dessner||4:05|
|17.||"It's Time to Go"||A. Dessner||4:15|
|18.||"Willow" (Dancing Witch Version – Elvira Remix)||A. Dessner||3:04|
|19.||"Willow" (Lonely Witch Version)||A. Dessner||3:34|
|18.||"Willow" (90's trend remix)||A. Dessner||3:45|
Adapted from Tidal, Pitchfork, and album liner notes.
Additional instrument recording[b]
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||80,000|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||15,000|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000|
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
|Various||December 11, 2020||
|United Kingdom||December 18, 2020||CD||Deluxe||EMI|||
|Various||January 7, 2021||
|Japan||January 22, 2021||CD||Japanese||Universal Music Japan|||
|Brazil||January 29, 2021||
|Various||February 21, 2021||Cassette tape||Deluxe||Universal Music Group|||
|May 28, 2021||Vinyl||Deluxe||EMI|||
|United States||June 3, 2021||Digital download||Fan edition||Republic|||
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-06-13 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=66066550