Taylor Swift dropped another surprise on an unsuspecting world on Friday (Dec. 11) in the form of Evermore, her ninth studio album and “sister record” to July’s Folklore.
Filled with 15 more imaginary and not-so-imaginary tales of lost love (“Champagne Problems”), falling down the rabbit hole (“Long Story Short”) and clinging to happiness after heartbreak (“Happiness”), the LP finds Swift reuniting with Folklore collaborators Aaron Dessner, Jack Antonoff and the mysterious William Bowery, and has the star’s legions of fans going wild just days before her 31st birthday.
To celebrate the surprise release, Billboard‘s rounded up six fun facts about Evermore that you need to know. Check them all out in between playing the album on repeat below!
William Bowery returned as a co-writer on three tracks
Once the mystery collaborator of Folklore, Swift confirmed during The Long Pond Studio Sessions that the elusive William Bowery was a pseudonym for none other than Joe Alwyn. On her first album of 2020, Swift’s longtime love flexed his secret songwriting chops by co-writing hits “Betty” and Bon Iver collaboration “Exile.”
Four months later, he’s back for more, helping pen Evermore standout “Champagne Problems” as well as The National-assisted “Coney Island” and the album-closing title track, again featuring Bon Iver.
🎵| Joe Alwyn (William Bowery) wrote three songs on #evermoreAlbum!
— Taylor Swift Updates 🧣 (@TSwiftLA) December 11, 2020
Tay name-dropped Olive Garden in “No Body, No Crime” because it’s Este Haim’s favorite
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Swift dished about crafting the delightfully murderous “No Body, No Crime” with Haim. Even before asking her close pals to feature on the track, the singer revealed she used named the track’s central character after Este Haim because “she’s the friend I have who would be stoked to be in a song like that.”
The shout-out to Olive Garden also ties back to the eldest Haim sister. “I had finished the song and was nailing down some lyric details and texted her, ‘You’re not going to understand this text for a few days but… which chain restaurant do you like best?’ and I named a few,” Swift dished to the magazine. “She chose Olive Garden and a few days later I sent her the song and asked if they would sing on it. It was an immediate ‘YES.'”
“Marjorie” is a sweet tribute to Swift’s grandma and has a Folklore parallel
All good Swifties know that 13 is their idol’s longtime lucky number, and on both of her 2020 albums, Swift used track 13 to pay tribute to her grandparents. While Folklore‘s “Epiphany” honors her grandfather’s role in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, Evermore‘s “Marjorie” is named after her late maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, who passed away when the star was 13.
— Taylor Swift Updates 🧣 (@TSwiftLA) December 11, 2020
There’s a familiar face in the “Willow” video
Ahead of the premiere of the mystical music video for lead single “Willow,” Swift hinted that fans have seen her co-star in the visual elsewhere in her oeuvre. “You’ve seen my co-star in this video somewhere before,” she wrote during the pre-premiere chat with fans. “One scene represents how I feel about fame. There’s a scene to represent each season throughout the journey of the video.”
While the singer didn’t specify exactly which co-star she was referring to in the clip, Swifties took the tidbit and ran with it, speculating that it could be anyone from one of Swift’s beloved cat’s to a past co-star in the videos for 1989‘s “Blank Space” or “Style.”
📲 YT | Taylor Swift on the #willowMusicVideo in the chat!
“You’ve seen my co-star in this video somewhere before. One scene represents how I feel about fame. There’s a scene to represent each season throughout the journey of the video” pic.twitter.com/oHQc61Vy5V
— Taylor Swift News 🧣 (@TSwiftNZ) December 11, 2020
“Cowboy Like Me” features backing vocals from a major star
While he wasn’t credited with a full-blown collab like Haim, The National or Bon Iver, fans dissecting the liner notes of Evermore will find Mumford & Sons frontman Marcus Mumford listed as a backing vocalist on country-leaning standout “Cowboy Like Me.”
Swift also hinted at the secret guest appearance during the “Willow” live chat, writing, “There’s a really beautiful background vocal on ‘Cowboy Like Me’ sung by someone I’m a big fan of.” (Eagle-eyed Swifties also noted weeks before they even knew of the album’s existence that the star appeared to give her Nov. 25 interview on Good Morning America from Mumford’s distinctive home studio.)
🔍 | Fans have noticed that it appears that the location where Taylor Swift filmed her @GMA interview this morning appears to be Marcus Mumford from @MumfordAndSons home studio 👀 pic.twitter.com/bFml1u5Il2
— Taylor Swift News 🧣 (@TSwiftNZ) November 25, 2020
You can hear two more bonus tracks
Like “The Lakes” before them, the superstar still has a pair of Evermore bonus tracks waiting in the wings. “Get 2 bonus tracks ‘right where you left me’ + ‘it’s time to go’ on the physical deluxe edition of evermore,” she tweeted ahead of the album’s surprise release on Thursday night (Dec. 10). “There’s also an exclusive, digital booklet that comes with all digital downloads of the album including some super cool WOODSY PICS!”
Get 2 bonus tracks “right where you left me” + “it’s time to go” on the physical deluxe edition of evermore. There’s also an exclusive, digital booklet that comes with all digital downloads of the album including some super cool WOODSY PICS! https://t.co/QYMUTL0IAj pic.twitter.com/Acf5Xa2iTp
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 11, 2020