Taylor Swift has a new music video, and it's just a small part of the best early Christmas present Swifties could ask for.
Less than five months after the surprise release of her eighth studio album folklore, the "August" singer dropped yet another musical bombshell with folklore's companion album evermore. The first single off evermore, "willow," arrived with its very own music video, directed by Taylor herself. Check it out below.
The epic video premiered at 9 p.m. PT on Thursday, Dec. 10, the same time that the album was released. The mystical footage features a love story as Taylor dives into a river after seeing an unexpected reflection, participates in a sort of bonfire-type ritual and eventually ends up using a glowing thread to share a special final moment with her guy.
The male lead in the video is played by Taeok Lee, who has previously danced with Taylor on tour. Shortly after the video premiered, he posted an image from it to Instagram. "Surprise guys!" he wrote. "Thanks Tay for bringing me back again for this project."
Shortly after the video debuted, Taylor tweeted that she appreciates the bond she continues to enjoy with her fans. "I have no idea what will come next," she posted. "I have no idea about a lot of things these days and so I've clung to the one thing that keeps me connected to you all. That thing always has and always will be music."
As fans were waiting for the video to begin, the Grammy winner answered fan questions on her YouTube page. "I wanted evermore to represent fall & winter while folklore represents spring & summer," she replied to one fan. "I've always wanted to do a 2part anthology that's a collective body of work & it just kind of happened naturally."
She teased a few hidden moments in the video as well, including Taeok's appearance. "Easter eggs: You've seen my co-star in this video somewhere before," she wrote. "One scene represents how I feel about fame. There's a scene to represent each season throughout the journey of the video."
The "betty" performer also revealed that the new video contains references to other tunes on the just-released album. "Specific songs in folklore actually helped inspire the worlds you'll see in this video," she divulged. "There's a scene in the video that represents the song 'seven,' one that represents 'mirrorball,' one for 'exile,' and one for 'mad woman.'"
Prior to the music video release, the artist dropped an Instagram photo of herself wearing what many fans speculated could be a wedding dress. In the caption, she shared details of the music video.
"Tonight the story continues, as the music video for 'willow' drops at midnight eastern. I'm forever grateful to the following creatives who have helped and guided me to be able to direct my own videos: Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, producer Jil Hardin, 1st AD Joe ‘Oz' Osbourne, Co-1st AD Ev Salomon, Exec Producer Rebecca Skinner, editor Chancler Haynes, set designers Ethan Tobman and Regina Fernandez and visual effects geniuses Grant Miller and David Lebensfeld," she shared. "Thank you to our medical inspector who made sure every precaution was taken for our safety. I'll see you guys in the YouTube premiere page chat before midnight to answer some questions."
Taylor has proven herself a skilled music video director in recent years. She directed or co-directed all four music videos she released from her 2019 album Lover, as well as the video for "cardigan" off of folklore.
What other surprises could Taylor have in store? Only time will tell! Watch the music video above.