Music

It’s been a week since evermore… let’s discuss

TAYLOR!!!!

I don’t know how to put into words how absolutely incredible Taylor Swift is. I tried to do it with my post about folklore and the Long Point Studio sessions film. I’m going to try again now because I’m BLOWN away by evermore.

I am truly overwhelmed by her ability to articulate what I’m feeling/thinking about the world. Taylor ever so slightly older than me and with her traditional two year album cycle, the music she released often fit within the realm of experiences (the most obvious example is 22 – it came out within year I turned 22). As a teenager and young adult she had this ‘every girl’ sensibility and her music truly was the soundtrack to my life and my friends lives.

Then there was a period of time that I felt like she lost the plot a bit.

1989 is a great album – but during that time period (2014-2016ish) it felt like she became “too cool” and the mean girl Taylor narrative started up. It was the days of the squad of beautiful models. She didn’t feel like a girl the average person would be friends with anymore. I still loved her old stuff, but I wasn’t as keen on this ‘new Taylor’. Then Reputation came out and that to me was another sign that this wasn’t the Taylor I knew and loved. I often have this criticism with musicians who become major celebrities – I really don’t like music that talks about the pitfalls of fame. I can’t relate and I don’t care. Anytime my friends and I would talk about Taylor Swift, I kept repeating ‘I just want the old Taylor’. I know she can’t come to the phone right now because she’s dead but like… I just REALLY want a girl and a guitar, a more ‘acoustic’ sound, and relatable lyrics about an average life.

Well friends. I got my wish.

Lover really felt like a happy middle ground between old-Taylor and new-Taylor and I really liked it. But folklore was the album I wanted and now evermore is the icing on the cake.

Before I get into it I want to say this:

A lot of people talk about how we’re all in this storm of 2020 together – but I recently heard an analogy that I thought fits the situation better. While we might be in the same storm, we’re in different boats and if you have a yacht that’s going to be a different experience than if you are barely hanging on to a door ala Jack and Rose …

Taylor has a super yacht in this storm. She has millions of dollars, impeccable connections, and a loyal fan base who is willing to purchase and consume any product she wants to put out. She can pay people to help her, she doesn’t have to work if she doesn’t want to, and she could very easily bake cookies all day. So the comparisons that have been tossed around lately about how her productivity and the lack of other people’s productivity are not helpful.

That all being said, I’m VERY glad that she’s created these two beautiful albums because frankly, I needed something good this year.

evermore is good.

I’m going to go track by track, much like the long point sessions blog and give you my thoughts. Hit play and let’s get started.

“Willow”
Written by: Taylor Swift, Aaron Dessner

I normally LOVE her lead singles. IMO – they never reflect the quality of the album and often don’t ‘fit’ the feel of the overall album. I’ve learned to appreciate them as their own entity. On her last three albums, ME!, Look What You Made Me Do, Cardigan – none of these ended up being my favourite songs. However – Willow is different. I instantly fell in love with it. Perhaps because this is a ‘sister’ album it works, but I think it’s such a great song. The lyrics are fantastic (“I come back stronger than a 90s trend” *chefs kiss*) and the track is a 10/10 (that renaissance guitar…). I could put this on repeat for days and not get sick of it. Love it.

“Champagne Problems”
Written by: Swift, William Bowery, Dessner

I’ve been walking around my neighbourhood listening to this song and it just feels like the perfect quiet December night melancholy song. It is so simplistic but so detailed in the storytelling. It was co-written by William Bowery (who we all know is her bf Joe Alwyn) and their songs together are very clear stories. I’m very curious about this song. Is there a failed proposal somewhere in their paths, or did this happen to a friend, or in a movie or book?

I also can’t help but think about how her stories feel very real. I had a close friend who called off her engagement and we all really liked her fiancé – and I think we all thought “she would’ve made such a lovely bride…”

“Gold Rush”
Written by: Swift, Jack Antonoff

This is one of the few Antonoff songs on this album and it is so obvious. This is a banger of a song – but it feels like an extension of her 1989+ era of pop songs. It will fit on playlists with songs like Getaway Car, The Archer, and Out of the Woods. It’s got that pulsing pop tone we expect from the Antoff+Swift partnership and it’s a JAM. That being said… I’m glad it’s one of the only songs they did together because I just really love that the album isn’t weighted towards songs like this.

“‘Tis the Damn Season”
Written by Swift, A. Dessner

YES. LOVE. The kids have already turned this into a tiktok trend where you send your hometown ‘babe’ the the lyrics as texts to “see what happens.” I don’t really care about that trend. This is the tiktok about the song that I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF:

“Tolerate It”
Written by Swift, A. Dessner

5/4 time. Okay. Try something different. I’m into it… but honestly, that’s the only thing I know about this song. I feel like this will continue to grow on me, but it’s not one that I’m immediately in love with.

“No Body, No Crime” (featuring Haim)
Written by Swift

Again with the tiktok jokes – I’m really loving all of the memes that are coming out of this song. The lyrics are great and the song is a jam. But… controversial statement: I want to love Haim, I just don’t. If you love Haim give me the primer on them – I have a few songs that I enjoy, but I just feel very meh about them in general. I don’t get the hype – but I really want to. Help me! HOWEVER in my post about folklore I made a point to talk about how Taylor often collaborates with men and how I really wanted some female collaborators. So I’ll give her a step in the right direction here. In terms of her duets – I like this one a lot, but I still like Soon You’ll Get Better with The Chicks best.

“Happiness”
Written by Swift, A. Dessner

I love this. I feel like this another one that I will just grow and grow on me as I listen to it. I want to hear her do this one live – I feel like it would be so good.

“Dorothea”
Written by Swift, A. Dessner

OKAY – This was the song that was my FAVOURITE on the first listen. I instantly loved it. I loved it in the same that I loved Betty. It feels very classic ‘Taylor’. I loved it even more when I heard that the song *might* be about Selena Gomez. But the *new* theory that it fits into a story (similar to Betty x cardigan x august) with ’tis the damn season. Well, I am HERE FOR IT.

“Coney Island” (featuring the National)
Written by Swift, Bowery, A. Dessner, Bryce Dessner

So – the first few notes on this song sound so familiar (I want to say the sound like Night Changes but that’s not it…). Regardless, I love the way that the songs written by Joe+Taylor bring in that ‘male’ perspective. I just want to hear the OG demo with Joe singing the Bryce Dessner part. Could you imagine. Swifties would combust.

The Swifties have also laid out a pretty detailed account that this song is about *all* her ex’s and I’m always here for a song about the ex’s.

“Ivy”
Written by Swift, A. Dessner, Antonoff

I really love this song. I love the lyrics, the tone, the beat etc. Because it’s on the back end of the album, I haven’t listened to this song enough but what I really want to do is blast this in my car as I drive down a highway in February in rural Ontario. It just feels like rocks, snow, and Ivy…

“Cowboy like Me”
Written by SwiftA. Dessner

I often find myself wanting to skip this song because of the slow intro, but if I ‘forget’ to skip it – I discover that fantastic chorus and tone in the backhalf of the song. This will be another song that I will 100% fall in love with over time. I just need a little bit more time here. I want to really sit with the lyrics and fall in love with the bridge. But Taylor – why didn’t you do a ft. for Marcus Mumford? I would have LOVED that. Someone send me the interview if she ever talks about that.

“Long Story Short”
Written by Swift, A. Dessner

Getaway Car 2.0 and I LOVE it. I also think I will use “Long Story Short it was a bad bad time” as my instagram caption when we say goodbye to 2020.

“Marjorie”
Written by Swift, A. Dessner

So like many songs on this album, I needed a few listens to fall in love with them, but this song required the lyric video:

I watched this and instantly marjorie shot up and into my number one slot. I have since watched this video dozens of times. I think this song is the most magical, impactful song on this album because it is so deeply personal. It is haunting, peaceful, purposeful. I had no idea that the backing track was her grandmother. I think as creative people this is the pinnacle of what we all wish to create – something that leaves a legacy and Taylor took it one step further by creating a legacy for her family that includes her grandmother. I’m blown away.

“Closure”
Written by Swift, A. Dessner

It’s fine. I sometime skip it. Depends on my mood.

“Evermore” (featuring Bon Iver)
Written by Swift, Bowery, Justin Vernon

Song wise: it’s great. Perfect last song. BUT I’m actually want to talk about the Bon Iver Taylor connection. As much as she has said in multiple interviews how much she loves Bon Iver’s music and we know that Justin Veron is close with Aaron Dressner – Veron is very famously tied to Kanye West and we know about Taylor and Kanye. I was pointing out my curiosity about this connection to a friend and went back to the archives and found this old Q interview (with the old host, he-who-must-not-be-named) and it is awful. Veron and HWMNBN laugh about how Kanye “was right” to say Beyonce had the better video. I know we change as adults, but I’m curious you know. Taylor seems to hold grudges and I doubt she’d work with someone associated with Kanye… so I wonder if Kanye burned the bridge with Veron somewhere along the way… if there is a public answer to this I’d love to know it. But regardless – I’m really glad they connected becase the music is phenomenal.

Overall – I loved this album and cannot stop listening to it. It was a gift when we needed it and if Taylor Swift doesn’t release another album for a while, it will be okay.

I’m going to leave you here with Zane Lowe and another hour of conversation about this:

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