Taylor Swift's eighth studio album, Folklore, includes a number of featured songwriters. Fans recognize most of the names on the record due to Swift collaborating with them in the past, but one has Swifties seriously scratching their heads: William Bowery. Believe it or not, fans have a theory William Bowery is actually Joe Alwyn, who the singer has been been since 2016.
If you're wondering how fans came up with the idea, it all stemmed from Swift's album announcement, which she shared on Instagram on Thursday, July 23 — hours before Folklore's Friday release.
"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," Swift said.
Among those credited on her album, like frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff, The National's Aaron Dessner, and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, Swift revealed someone named William Bowery co-wrote two songs with her. Swift tagged all of them except — you guessed it — Bowery. Considering fans are so good at figuring out Swift's hidden easter eggs in her music, it was no surprise the mysterious name sent them on a hunt to track down more info.
After some extensive digging, they couldn't find anything about Bowery online, which is suuuuuuper suspicious in itself. (Who doesn't exist online in 2020 other than your great-grandma Ethyl?)
That's when fans thought Bowery might be a pseudonym for someone fans already know.
Unless you lived under a rock during Swift's 1989 era, you know she actually has a history of using aliases when writing music. In 2016, a representative for Swift confirmed she co-wrote Calvin Harris and Rihanna's "This Is What You Came For" under the name Nils Sjöberg. Then, in May 2020, fans believed Swift was behind the mysterious band Jack Leopards & the Dolphin Club, which listed Sjöberg as a producer.
As for the Bowery theory, a fan pointed out Alwyn is reportedly the great-grandson of William Alwyn, who was a composer, conductor, and music teacher, and one of Swift and Alwyn's first meetings reportedly took place at the Bowery Hotel in New York in 2016. Fans think it can't be a coincidence.
Whoever this Bowery person is, they've definitely caught Swifties' attention, and they likely won't stop looking for clues until they finally get their answer.