- Taylor Swift just dropped a surprise eighth album, folklore (opens in new tab).
- Swift listed "William Bowery" as one of her collaborators on the album, writing on Instagram that Bowery co-wrote two songs with her.
- Fans think Bowery might actually be a pseudonym for Swift's boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.
Taylor Swift is a big fan of meticulously secreting Easter eggs in her music for her most devoted fans to discover. And she's also a big fan of pseudonyms (remember Nils Sjöberg? (opens in new tab)) So it's little wonder that Swifties already have a theory about one William Bowery, who Swift credited as a co-writer on her surprise eighth album, folklore. Specifically, they think William Bowery could actually be one Joe Alwyn, Swift's boyfriend. Let's unpack!
In her Instagram post announcing the then-impending release of folklore, Swift named four collaborators on the album, who she called her "musical heroes": The National's Aaron Dessner, Bon Iver, William Bowery, and Bleachers' Jack Antonoff. Dessner, Bon Iver, and Antonoff all have sizeable discographies and an awful lot of Google results to their name, but before the album's release, there was next to no trace of Bowery.
A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) (opens in new tab)
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So why do fans think Bowery could actually be Joe Alwyn? Firstly, there's the name itself. Swifties quickly pointed out that one of Swift and Alwyn's first encounters was at the Bowery Hotel in New York City, where they saw a Kings of Leon concert. It seems fair to assume, therefore, that the Bowery is a pretty special place for the couple—which could have inspired the name "William Bowery."
🔎 | Fans online believe that “William Bowery” who Taylor credited as a songwriter on folklore could actually be a pseudonym for her bf Joe Alwyn.There is little to no info on a songwriter with that name, and one of the couple’s first meetings was at the Bowery Hotel in NYC. pic.twitter.com/k4ZEviVtmKJuly 23, 2020
What's more, the mysterious musician co-wrote two songs on folklore: "Exile" and "Betty," as the Independent (opens in new tab) reports. And according to E! (opens in new tab), Joe Alwyn's mother is called Elizabeth—a name frequently shortened to Betty. Did Swifties crack the case? Is Joe Alwyn a songwriter on the side? What does this all mean, Taylor?!
Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.
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