Aaron Dessner Says Keeping Taylor Swift’s ‘Evermore’ A Secret Resulted In ‘More Freedom’

Taylor Swift surprised both her fans and the music industry last week when she dropped the unannounced album Evermore. Much like Folklore, the LP was written in collaboration with The National’s Aaron Dessner and was kept very under wraps during the recording process. Though penning the album in secret was difficult, Dessner recently explained why it was the right move.

Speaking about the collaboration process in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Dessner said keeping the album a secret was a challenge due to the ingenuity of Swift’s fans, but it ultimately resulted in more creative freedom:

“We had to be secretive because of how much people are consuming every shred of information they can find about her, and that’s been an oppressive reality she’s had to deal with. But the fact that no one in the public knew allowed for more freedom of enjoying the process. A lot of the same musicians that played on Folklore played on Evermore. Again, it was a situation where I didn’t tell them what it was, and they couldn’t hear her vocals, but I think a lot of them assumed, especially because of the level of secrecy. But as funny as this is, I think everyone who’s been involved has been grateful for these records to play on this year and is proud of them. It kind of just doesn’t happen, to make two great records in such a short period of time. Everyone’s a little bit like, ‘How did this happen?’ and nobody takes it for granted.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Dessner discussed how natural his songwriting chemistry with Swift is. “Each one would happen, and we would both be in this sort of disbelief of this weird alchemy that we had unleashed,” he said. “The ideas were coming fast and furiously and were just as compelling as anything on Folklore, and it felt like the most natural thing in the world.”

Evermore is out now via Republic Records. Get it here.