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The more times you listen to a Taylor Swift album, the more sly references and Easter eggs you’ll discover. Swift is notorious for putting hidden meanings and sneaky clues in her albums, and the surprise eighth studio album is just as delightful for her fans to decrypt. With 16 different tracks across the entire album, Swift has managed to slip in images and lines that refer to her relationships, family members, and famous pals across her musical history.
With so many different layers in her songs, it’ll take a while to unpack all of them. Here are some of the biggest fan theories and Easter eggs from Folklore:
One of the biggest questions following the release of Folklore was, “who exactly is William Bowery?” Swift listed the man as a co-writer in her announcement on Instagram before the album was released, but there’s no proof of his existence or any other credits. There is the assumption that Bowery is nothing more than a pseudonym for someone else, but who can it be?
People are currently theorizing that it might be Swift’s brother, Austin, who’s already covered his sister’s song “Look What You Made Me Do” under a pseudonym. It might even be her lover and current boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, but who knows when we’ll actually find out.
Swift told her fans that the songs “August,” “Betty,” and “Cardigan,” portray a teenage love triangle and that each of the songs is told from a different perspective.
“Betty” is from the perspective of a boy named James, who has admitted to cheating on his girlfriend. “Cardigan” follows Betty’s feelings throughout her relationship with James, while the girl who James cheated with reveals her story in “August.” She loved her summer flings with James, but knew he was still in love with Betty the whole time.
The first music video of the album, “Cardigan” features various Easter eggs. There is a scene where the number 13 can be seen alongside a picture of Swift’s grandfather, while a segment featuring a waterfall references her past music videos and perhaps even a music video of her ex, Harry Styles.
Her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, is also referenced in a few places through Swift repeatedly saying the word “favorite.”
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