Taylor Swift’s Surprise Album Has a Wisconsin Connection

Can Taylor Swift and Justin Vernon strike gold – or platinum – a second time around?

One of the weirder developments in a year full of weird developments is pop star Taylor Swift’s ongoing infatuation with Wisconsin indie rock. 

In July, Swift – who has sold over two-hundred million records worldwide and is one of the most popular musicians of all time – released a surprise album. The 16-track Folklore was more reflective and restrained than much of Swift’s recent output, highlighting her storytelling abilities and vocal chops.

It also marked her first collaboration with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, the critically acclaimed indie musician who has lived and worked in Eau Claire off and on for much of his career. And the album was a smash hit, breaking Spotify’s record for first-day album streams for a female artist and garnering a slew of rave reviews. 



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Today, we learned that Swift and Vernon are going to be teaming up again, on another surprise album. It’s called Evermore, and it will be released to streaming services at 11 p.m. CST tonight. 

“To put it plainly, we just couldn’t stop writing songs,” Swift wrote in an Instagram caption. “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. 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.”

Vernon will be joining Swift for the album’s title track. And two other musicians who worked with her on Folklore – Aaron Dessner (of The National) and Jack Antonoff – will be returning for repeat performances too. Plus, we’ll get to see collaborations with the members of the band Haim and with Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn (who is performing under the stage name William Bowery).

Interested in checking the album out? You can find more info about it on Swift’s website. Or, potentially, by driving up to Eau Claire and asking Justin Vernon to play it for you. 



Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.