“To put it plainly, we just couldn’t stop writing songs,” Taylor Swift wrote on the morning before the release of Evermore, offering an explanation behind her second surprise album of 2020. After making an unexpected pivot from brightly colored pop to greyscale indie-folk with this summer’s Folklore, Swift conjured some of the most affecting and fully realized music of her career -- earning rave reviews, multiple weeks at No. 1 and an album of the year Grammy nod in the process.
Yet Swift has never stretched an artistic era across multiple albums -- and even considering Folklore’s success, fans expected the superstar to return from the woods and find a new house in which to set up shop for her next statement, likely without core Folklore collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner. But as she shared with fans on Twitter, Swift wasn’t finished exploring this most recent environment. “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,” she wrote. “We chose to wander deeper in.”