‘evermore’ vs. ‘folklore’: Which of Taylor Swift’s new albums features ‘wilder and freer’ songs?

It’s been a busy year for Taylor Swift. Less than five months after she released her 8th studio album, folklore, she surprised fans again with evermore. Evermore is Swift’s ninth studio album and features 15 original songs on the standard edition as well as two bonus songs on the deluxe edition. Swift, once again, collaborated with Aaron Dessner, Jack Antonoff, William Bowery, and Bon Iver on the newest album, so what are the key differences between the two records?

evermore artist Taylor Swift performs one of her songs, Betty at the ACMAs
Taylor Swift | ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM

On December 10, 2020, Swift took to her social media pages to announce evermore to her millions of fans. True to Swift’s nature, the “coney island” singer had been dropping subtle hints about the album for months. Still, fans were shocked to discover that she was releasing a new album so soon after folklore. Citing that she and her collaborators simply couldn’t stop writing songs, she shared some of the inspiration behind folklore’s sister record, evermore.

Taylor Swift announces her new album, ‘evermore’, on Twitter and Instagram

“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,” Swift wrote of evermore. “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.”

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While evermore can be seen as a continuation as folklore, there are plenty of ways in which the albums differ. While folklore is more grounded in reality, evermore seems to live in more of an imaginary world than its older sister. Aaron Dessner also shared the ways in which he felt the albums were different, offering fans insight into how a writer/composer might view the records.

How are Swift’s newest songs different from the ones on ‘folklore’?

“These songs are wilder and freer, sometimes in strange time signatures and darker hues, but very much a continuation of what we started with folklore,” Dessner shared about evermore on his Instagram page. “I can’t begin to express my gratitude and respect for Taylor — I never cease to wonder at her seemingly boundless talent as a singer and a songwriter and storyteller. It’s been the experience of a lifetime to work so fast and furiously with her.”

It’s interesting to hear how albums are perceived from the people who had a hand in creating them. We wonder if Swift’s fans would agree that they found the songs on evermore to be freer than those on folklore. Either way, it seems that Swift has another hit on her hands. And while she’s debunked the possibility of a third secret album, woodvale, we’re sure she’s got more things up her sleeves for fans.