Which fandom is the most spoiled in 2020? Swifties now have a very strong claim to that title.
Late night on Dec. 10, Taylor Swift announced that she’ll be dropping her ninth studio album “Evermore” on Dec. 11 at midnight EST (1 p.m. PST). The release comes less than five months after that of its sister album “Folklore” and two days ahead of Swift’s birthday on Dec. 13. We love a generous queen.
I’m elated to tell you that my 9th studio album, and folklore’s sister record, will be out tonight at midnight eastern. It’s called evermore. 📷: Beth Garrabrant pic.twitter.com/xdej7AzJRW
You might be wondering (like the rest of us!) what inspired this extended stay in the “Folklore” era. “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,” Swift says in a series of tweets. “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.”
It’s exciting to guess what other narratives the singer-songwriter will be exploring in the 15-track album (17 if you include the two bonus tracks on the deluxe physical album). She says, “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.”
If she doesn’t win a Grammy in 2021, we’re campaigning for a Nobel Prize in Literature instead.
Ever since I was 13, I’ve been excited about turning 31 because it’s my lucky number backwards, which is why I wanted to surprise you with this now. You’ve all been so caring, supportive and thoughtful on my birthdays and so this time I thought I would give you something! pic.twitter.com/wATiVSTpuV
But in all seriousness, we really can’t wait to devour ‘Evermore.’ It contains three tracks with featured artists that we’re already making predictions about. We’re guessing that “No Body, No Crime” with Haim is a “Gone Girl-esque” revenge song. “Coney Island” with The National might be a more heartbreaking sequel to “The Last Great American Dynasty.” “Evermore” with Bon Iver could be an epilogue to “Exile.” Who wants to make a bet with us?
We’re also getting a music video the same time the album comes out. Judging from stills from “Willow,” we’re thinking that it might even be connected to “Love Story”—which she will be re-releasing soon.
If you can’t tell yet just how far we’ve gone into theorizing, here are additional notes from our editor Zofiya Acosta (who’s a long-time Swiftie): “I think we can all tell that ‘Willow’ is going to be ‘Love Story’ part two. Among other things, she referenced the song on her tweet announcing the music video, the styling is similar to the styling in the iconic ‘Love Story’ video, she publicly announced that she re-recorded ‘Love Story.’ But as a long-term Swiftie, I know her releases are kind of like an ARG (she loves dropping very subtle but deliberate hints through her social media, websites, past songs and music videos, and even merch way in advance) so I have more theories.
Track 13, ‘Marjorie,’ is probably going to be about her grandmother—that’s Taylor’s grandma’s name! It would also be a strong parallel to ‘Folklore’ since track 13 on that album, ‘Epiphany,’ is about her grandfather and his experience as a WW2 soldier. Her grandma, Marjorie Finlay, has lived a very interesting life—she was an opera singer, and was briefly an icon in Puerto Rico—so there’s a lot of material for Taytay to work on. (Honestly, considering her love for finding parallels between her and other people and that her ‘Wildest Dreams’ music video persona was inspired by her grandmother, it’s a bit surprising that Taylor hasn’t made a song about her before.)
Less specific, but ‘Gold Rush’ is probably going to have the same vibe as ‘The Last Great American Dynasty.’ (Sorry Amrie, I don’t think ‘Coney Island’ is going to be the one to reference the song.) First, they share the same track slot (the latter was the third song on ‘Folklore’). The title alone also evokes the very early 20th century American snobbish fear of old money being overtaken/ruined by new money, which the latter partly touched on.
On a more general theory, ‘Evermore’ might reference Emily Dickinson. For one thing, the album is dropping on the poet’s birthday—not on Taylor’s birthday. It might just be because she wants to stick to her Friday release schedule, but this is Taylor we’re talking about. Aside from that, this Swiftie pointed out that Taylor mentioned 1830 and pretending to be a pioneer woman in her Entertainment Weekly interview about ‘Folklore.’ Dickinson was born in 1830 and was a pioneer woman, so. (The Swiftie also pointed out that one of Dickinson’s poems to her sister-in-law and almost-100%-her-lover Sue Gilbert ends with the word forevermore!)
There’s another possible reason why she isn’t releasing it on her birthday. There’s a chance that TS10 will be coming real soon, too—and that it might be a Christmas album. There’s a lot of conjecture about this, but I like the sweater evidence that this Swiftie pointed out best. Before ‘Evermore’ was announced, Taylor released two limited-edition versions of the ‘Folklore’ sweater, both of which were notably missing the ‘Folklore’ album logo that the original sweater had. The first of the two has the same color palette as the ‘Evermore’ photos, while the second one has more greens and stars on it—very Christmassy.”
Our YouTube and Spotify tabs are already open. While we’re waiting together, tell us whether you think our guesses are right on the money.