No matter how you feel about her, no one can deny that Taylor Swift is one of the music industry’s biggest players. Commercially she’s a big deal – all of her albums have reached million-plus milestones that few, if any, artists ever achieve. She’s also established herself as an astute businessperson, effectively using traditional and new media to market her work. But also, artistically, she’s a gifted and prolific songwriter. Remember, her first music industry deal, when she was just 14, was for music publishing – so she was signed first as a songwriter, not as a performer. Most of us are probably familiar with what happened next.
Taylor is the biggest story in music news today on the announcement that another surprise album is coming. Back in July, Taylor dropped folklore without warning and now its sister album, evermore, will be released tonight. Like folklore, according to Variety, very few people knew that evermore was even a thing – that’s the point of a surprise, if you really want it to be one, you have to keep your sh-t tight. For Taylor, this is a birthday gift to herself and to her fans. She turns 31 on December 13:
Why didn’t she just release it on Sunday then? Well, Friday (tomorrow) is the usual day for new music drops. I mean, technically, Taylor Swift can do whatever the f-ck she wants and doesn’t have to adhere to standardised schedules but weekly sales – and sales determine charting – are measured on specific blocks of time starting from the regular release days and why would she want to miss out on those counts over the weekend? The goal here is to have as many people listening to evermore this weekend as possible for what will surely be her 9th #1 album, with the added bonus of boosting her 8th album, folklore, because the two are connected. And on top of that, there are the Grammys to consider. Evermore isn’t eligible this year, obviously, but Taylor’s folklore is up for Album of the Year and several other categories. She’s flexing her talent for the Recording Academy and also setting up the historic possibility of going two for two on the Grammys’ biggest category with sister albums. We’re getting ahead of ourselves now, but it’s not like Taylor’s never been ambitious.
In addition to the album, Taylor’s also releasing a new video for the first track on evermore, “willow”:
Tonight the story continues, as the music video for â€œwillowâ€ drops at midnight eastern. pic.twitter.com/T3o0nsANpY— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 10, 2020
Does that… look like a wedding portrait?
The ring finger of her left hand is obscured so like a superfan I tried to zoom in on the reflection in the mirror and I don’t think I see a ring but, you know, I can’t be the only one thinking that this shot evokes bridal vibes.
Speaking of marriage, “William Bowery” is a credited songwriter on folklore and Taylor confirmed in the folklore: long pond studio sessions that that is indeed Joe Alwyn and “WB” is again being credited on this album:
One of the more interesting comments that Taylor made during the long pond studio sessions was how she described folklore as an album without a big hit, or hits. Taylor is a hitmaker but what sets folklore apart from her previous albums is that it didn’t include a major massive track, a song that everyone was listening to, that everyone knew the lyrics to. I’m sure I don’t need to list off her hits here as an example. And in spite of that, it was still the top-selling album of 2020. If evermore is folklore’s sibling, then presumably there won’t be a “hit” coming off that one either, so it’ll be interesting to see whether or not it’ll follow the same pattern.