These 10 Revelations From Taylor Swift's Folklore Film Will Make You Rewind the Album
It's been about four months since Taylor Swift gifted us with her Folklore album, and now the singer is opening up about the songwriting process with her new Disney+ film. In Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, which was released on Nov. 25, Swift gave us a peek into her incredible mind as she discussed how she created tracks like "Invisible String," "Exile," "My Tears Ricochet," and more. Plus, we finally learn the identity of the mysterious songwriter William Bowery. Yes, it's exactly who you thought it was. Let's just say, hearing her talk about each track will completely change how you listen to the album going forward. Read ahead for more interesting facts Swift revealed about Folklore.
- Folklore was the first time she recorded an album in her home. Swift noted that due to COVID-19 restrictions, she wasn't able to go to the studio to record, so she had to build a studio in her house, which she was really excited about. At the end of the film, she jokingly dubbed it Kitty Committee Studios because of all her cats.
- Swift told her label about Folklore a week before it was released. Swift was so inspired creating Folklore, she didn't even tell her label it existed until a week before she dropped it. When Jack Antonoff asked what that phone call was like, Swift said they were super supportive of her. "It was amazing," she said. "My label was like, 'Whatever you wanna make, we're down.'" We love to see it!
- Swift has been wanting to write about Rebekah Harkness since 2013. When Swift talked about writing "The Last Great American Dynasty," she admitted that she's been wanting to write about the previous owner of her Rhode Island mansion for a while now but never figured out the right way to do it until she was creating Folklore. She added that the song certainly has that "country music narrative device" about telling one story about someone else and then inserting yourself into the narrative at the end.
- William Bowery is Joe Alwyn. Of course, the biggest revelation in the film is that William Bowery, who cowrote a few tracks on the album, is Swift's boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. In addition to writing the melody for "Exile," Alwyn also recorded a demo of the track with Swift. Later in the film, Swift reveals that Alwyn also wrote the chorus of "Betty."
- "Mirrorball" is a metaphor for being a celebrity. During a discussion with Antonoff, Swift said she was fascinated with this concept of mirrorballs hanging in the middle of a dance floor and reflecting light. She noted that mirrorballs are so shiny because they are broken into a million pieces, and in many ways, we have people like that in society. "They hang there and every time they break, it entertains us," she said. While the song represents society's fascination with celebrities, she added that it's universal for anyone who feels like they have to be different versions of themselves in different environments, whether that be work, home, or with friends and family.
- Swift believes Betty and James ended up together. When discussing the love triangle in "Cardigan," "August," and "Betty," Swift noted that she believes Betty and James actually ended up together in the end. She added that she thinks "Cardigan" is actually Betty looking back 20 to 30 years after the affair.
- Swift gave a name to "the other woman" in Betty and James's love triangle. While Swift never names the woman James has an affair with in Folklore, Swift pictured her as an Augusta and Augustine when creating the album. She also noted that she doesn't believe James's mistress was a villain at all. "She's not a bad girl, she's really a sensitive person who really fell for him and she was trying to seem cool and seem like she didn't care because that's what girls have to do," Swift said.
- "This Is Me Trying" is about addiction and mental illness. When creating the track, Swift noted that she was thinking a lot about how people cope with addiction and mental illness on a daily basis and how hard that must be to actively try to be better. "No one pats them on the back every day, but every day they are actively fighting something," she said.
- "Hoax" embodies the entire album. Swift noted that "Hoax" felt like a great ending to Folklore because it matched up with all the themes of the album, including confessions, nature, and "emotional vitality and ambiguity at the same time." She added that the song is about many different relationships in her life, rather than just one person.
- "The Lakes" is about Swift's desire to disappear from the spotlight. At the end of the film, Swift recounted visiting the Lake District in England, which was a district in the 19th century where a lot of eccentric poets resided. She added that she was particularly inspired to write "The Lakes" after visiting poet William Wordsworth's grave. "I just sat there and was like, 'Wow, you went and did it. You just went away and you kept writing, but you didn't subscribe to the things that were killing you.'"