William Bowery is back in the building.
The hype for Taylor Swift’s 10th studio album, Midnights, couldn’t be more real. In the lead-up to the LP’s release, Swift has been teasing out bits and pieces of the project, from the tracklist through her Midnights Mayhem With Me TikTok series to the lyrical content of each of the songs.
After Swift’s co-writers on the project were revealed, fans were quick to notice one familiar name in particular: William Bowery, aka Swift’s boyfriend of six years, British actor Joe Alwyn. Bowery is Swift’s only other co-writer on track 12, titled “Sweet Nothing.”
It’s far from the first time Swift has enlisted Alwyn’s help as a co-writer. He’s credited as a co-writer on Folklore tracks “Exile” and “Betty” as well as Evermore’s “Champagne Problems,” “Coney Island,” and “Evermore.” Swift herself confirmed that William Bowery was indeed Alwyn’s pen name in her 2020 Disney+ special Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.
Alwyn is just one of the noteworthy collaborators that Swift recruited to bring Midnights to life. Her longtime co-writer Jack Antonoff helped write a majority of the songs on the album, with the only exceptions being Alwyn’s contribution on “Sweet Nothing” and on the rumored second single “Vigilante Sh*t,” written entirely by Swift alone. Other co-writing credits on the album include Zoë Kravitz and Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Sounwave on album opener “Lavender Haze,” plus Lana Del Rey on “Snow on the Beach,” the album’s only song with a featured artist.
Swift has been explaining the meanings behind each of the songs on Midnights in a series of Instagram videos. She started off with track 1, “Lavender Haze,” which was inspired by her relationship with Alwyn.
"I happened upon the phrase 'lavender haze' when I was watching Mad Men and I looked it up because I thought it sounded cool, and it turns out that it was a common phrase that was used in the '50s where they would just describe being in love," she explained in the Instagram above. "Like, If you were in the 'lavender haze,' that meant you were in that all-encompassing love glow, and I thought that was really beautiful.”
She continued: “And I guess theoretically when you're in the 'lavender haze,' you'll do anything to stay there and not let people bring you down off of that cloud. And I think a lot of people have to deal with this now — not just, like, quote-unquote public figures — because we live in the era of social media and if the world finds out that you're in love with somebody, they're gonna weigh in on it."
Swift then went on to share more intel about her and Alwyn’s connection. "My relationship for six years, we've had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it," she said. "And so this song is sort of about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff. I hope you guys like it."
Something tells me Swifties certainly will.