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?) 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.
Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise 🤗Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into. I wrote and recorded this music in isolation but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine; @aarondessner (who has co-written or produced 11 of the 16 songs), @boniver (who co-wrote and was kind enough to sing on one with me), William Bowery (who co-wrote two with me) and @jackantonoff (who is basically musical family at this point). Engineered by Laura Sisk and Jon Low, mixed by Serban Ghenea & Jon Low. The album photos were shot by the amazing @bethgarrabrant. Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed. My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with. Love you guys so much ♥️
A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Jul 23, 2020 at 5:00am PDT
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/k4ZEviVtmK
— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZ) July 23, 2020
What's more, the mysterious musician co-wrote two songs on folklore: "Exile" and "Betty," as the Independent reports. And according to E!, 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?!
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