Taylor Swift's new album 'Folklore'

This cover image shows “Folklore,” the eighth record by Taylor Swift. It includes 16 tracks and features Bon Iver, Aaron Dessner of The National and frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff.

While Taylor Swift may not have created the most intensive Easter egg process with the release of “Folklore,” connections can still be made between her eighth album and her personal life. The fandom has exploded in a search for deeper meanings and references to the parts of her life that Swift tries to keep private.

Here is a list of 10 of our favorite theories:

10. ‘Betty’ is queer canon: The LGBTQ+ community has a lot to say about “Betty,” the 14th track on the album, told from the perspective of someone named James. While some fans think Swift wrote the song from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy, queer fans are not buying it. According to Vulture, “Taylor Alison Swift is named after one James Taylor. So when she’s singing as James, telling a story about James, she’s telling a story about herself.”

9. Taylor broke up with Joe Alwyn: Many of the songs on “Folklore” are sad. The sad songs often address themes that hint at a breakup or ended relationship. Thus, as Elle puts it, fans are panicking over the breakup songs on “Folklore” because they associate the songs with Taylor’s personal life, meaning she may have broken up with longtime boyfriend Joe Alwyn.

8. There are different photos on the eight versions of the album. What do their titles mean? Swift plans to release eight different versions of digital albums and vinyls for “Folklore.” The eight different photos all have titles from her songs or are related to the photo they caption.

7. ‘The Last Great American Dynasty’ and ‘Betty’ are connected: Add another point for “Betty,” but also beware of “The Last Great American Dynasty, basically a history report on the previous owners of Taylor Swift’s Rhode Island mansion. Fans start speculating when they connect the name “Betty” to the name of the wife in the song, Rebekah Harkness.

6. Cottagecore: Fans are going off the rails about the elements of “cottagecore” in “Folklore.” “Cottagecore” is an aesthetic or style that emphasizes the return to older times and traditions such as baking, pottery and foraging as ways of life. The internet has taken the concept and adopted its surface-level looks and whimsical atmosphere as evidenced in her album art and photos.

5. Swift revealed the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ third child: ”Betty” seems to be dominating the fan theories, and with good reason. Pop Sugar has highlighted the idea shared by many fans that the song reveals the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ third daughter. According to the article, “Because the 30-year-old singer mentions the names of Blake and Ryan’s two older daughters, Inez and James, fans theorized that Betty, the only other name in the song, belongs to the youngest Reynolds girl.”

4. The Teenage Love Triangle: This is mentioned in the lyric videos for Swifts’s new songs, which she announced in the YouTube comments on her official lyric videos for all 16 songs. Fan consensus is that it involves the three songs “Betty,” “Cardigan” and “August.”

3. The cardigan Swift is wearing in the album photos belongs to Joe Alwyn: Hopeless-romantic fans are musing that the “Cardigan” of such high importance that it inspired a song belongs to Joe Alwyn. Apparently Taylor is wearing said cardigan in the photos for her album.

2. The meaning of ‘Folklore’ and why Swift chose it for her album title: According to Refinery 29, “’Folklore’ itself has two main meanings: one being the traditional customs preserved among a community, like stories, legends, songs, sayings, dances, and popular beliefs. The other meaning is a belief that’s been widely circulated and well-known without any supporting evidence.” Fans seem to believe Swift chose the title for reasons of her own, but both of those definitions can apply to her life.

1. Who is William Bowery? Bowery is believed to be an alias for Alwyn, hinting at a future collaboration between him and Swift. This theory seems to be the one most fans want to prove.

Copyright 2020 Tribune Content Agency.


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