In a Jimmy Kimmel Live! interview from last night, Taylor Swift said of Folklore, “I was too afraid to even unveil the title of the album to even my closest teammates and management. I didn’t tell anybody the album title until right before it came out.” It’s not clear if she surrounded her other 2020 surprise album, Evermore, with the same level of internal secrecy. Whatever the case may be, Paul McCartney knew about the album weeks before the music-listening public.
During a recent interview with Howard Stern (as Billboard notes), McCartney was discussing the Beatles’ friendly rivalry with the Rolling Stones and how the groups would coordinate their release dates so as to not step on each other’s toes. It turns out Swift offered McCartney the same courtesy with the upcoming McCartney III, so she told him about Evermore weeks ago. McCartney said:
“I did the Rolling Stone cover with Taylor Swift and she just emailed me recently and she said, ‘I wasn’t telling anyone, but I’ve got another album,’ what’s it called… Evermore? ‘So I was going to put it out on my birthday,’ which I think was the 10th. And then she said, ‘But I found out that you were going to put [McCartney III] out on the 10th so I moved to the 18th.’ And then she found out we were coming out on the 18th, so she moved back to the 10th. So, you know, people do keep out of each other’s way. It’s a nice thing to do.”
Ultimately, Swift released Evermore on December 11, a couple days before her December 13 birthday, while McCartney III will be released on December 18.
Swift briefly discussed her Rolling Stone feature with McCartney during the aforementioned Kimmel interview, saying of the cover, “That’s what all the walls [in my home] are gonna be made of. I’m building a whole new home with just that on every wall. Every brick has a little mini-picture of that. None of the old homes are going to work anymore because they don’t have enough of that on them.”