Refinery29 listed RM, a member of the South Korean boy band BTS, as a possible Bowery, and a few Twitter users have espoused this view as well. Cookies help us deliver our Services. His grandfather’s name is William. Photo illustration by Slate. Dessner said Alwyn’s not Bowery. For more videos like this, subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live. I originally thought if Joe was a "writer" it probably wasn't more than just her running lines by him and him occasionally having a change or an addition to it. I get why Taylor is friends with him because they have great artistic chemistry but that doesn’t mean he isn’t above scrutiny. We also know that Ed sometimes incorporates Harmonica into his live performances ( No one knows who it is, and Taylor has yet to comment on the subject. And it still leaves us with no explanation for the “musical hero” aspect of the puzzle. Why wouldn’t he just call himself Ed Sheeren? Now, why she would need to use a pseudonym to take credit for a song that she was already credited with writing is a different question. Austin Swift. He has also played multiple times at the Bowery in New York. i hope it isn’t him, that really left a sour taste in my mouth. A pen name would also fit with the narrative of Alwyn wanting to keep their relationship very private. A song off Swift’s previous album, “The Lucky One,” was even said to be about her. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Well he is taking a break. Thanks for signing up! You’ve run out of free articles. You can manage your newsletter subscriptions at any time. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Press J to jump to the feed.,, All rights reserved. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. Mitchell is definitely a musical hero to Swift, who has frequently cited the grande dame of folk music as one of her favorite artists. Aaron Dessner, who helped produce the album, also has no clue as to who this mysterious person is. And sometimes the simplest explanation is the right one. As for whether Alwyn has enough musical talent to co-write a song with one of the music industry’s top artists, I was intrigued by one Reddit fan’s point that at least once before, in the song “Ronan,” Swift gave a songwriting credit to someone who didn’t directly contribute to writing that song but whose words she quoted on it. We encountered an issue signing you up. Ed is a classic “nice guy” who acts like a friend to women but then engages in and benefits from misogyny. To be fair, there is documented evidence that the two are actual friends, which is more than can be said for Nos. For Taylor Swift, an album release marks the culmination of months, if not years, of labor. I bet the tea will be spilled at some point through either Easter eggs, or something. I’m reasonably sure that if a songwriter with that name really existed, he would be tied to a chair being interrogated by a gang of militant Swifties right now. Lorde was working at the same time with Jack for her 3rd album, could be clue. Looking to the lyrics themselves, there’s a line in “Exile”—“We always walked a very thin line”—that fans have said evokes Fine Line, the name of Styles’ most recent album. Just because they are song writers. Please try again. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. One of them is that Swift admires his musical abilities quite a bit: When she announced the album on social media, she wrote that it gave her the chance to collaborate with “some musical heroes of mine,” before naming the National’s Aaron Dessner, Bon Iver, Jack Antonoff, and—sticking out among such distinguished company—Bowery. I agree with this. All that said, some of the “evidence” for Alwyn as Bowery is pretty weak-sauce: Alwyn’s great-grandfather was a composer and was named William. Where Swift had a reason for obscuring her brother’s alleged involvement a few months ago, none of this points to why she would give her brother a pseudonym this time. The 2020 Election Needed a Mascot. He thinks the public needs a break from him. In his song Nancy Mulligan (about his grandmother), he has a lyric that says “And I was William Sheeran”. Now Ed could be an exception, but why would he give the song away and not just hold it for his next album? For more videos like this, subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live. Plus, the name itself smacks of fiction. This whole scheme may have been a way to stick it to Scooter Braun, with whom Swift is engaged in a very public feud with over ownership of her back catalog. Slightly more convincing is that Swift and Alwyn were spotted at the Bowery Hotel in New York early on in their relationship, after they’d attended a private Kings of Leon concert—it’s not a huge leap to guess that this date might have a special significance to them. The Sheeran truthers, like many of the factions here, don’t have much to go on. Then there’s the question of passing a woman off as a man, which would seem to go against Swift’s belief in feminism. But her finish line is only the starting point for fans: New Taylor music is a signal to put on their detective hats and get to scouring every lyric for clues and references Swift has embedded throughout the songs. im not saying its ed but ed has given so many songs to many other artists. It’s the same with Taylor and Calvin. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. Swift’s brother, Austin, who is also a musician, played a key role in another mystery … Because why not! Someone called him out on IG at the time and he commented: "I have been speaking directly to her, like I always do.". All contents © 2020 The Slate Group LLC. Alwyn is the guy Swift is dating right now, so if there are secret shoutouts on her album, shouldn’t they be to him? It’s true that the two have collaborated before. I don't know where they were basing that off of, but who knows.. maybe we will never actually know. honestly what if William Bowery is actually just joe going ham on the harmonica just for funsies. Some fans noted that Swift’s last confirmed use of a pen name was during the Nils Sjöberg affair, and the person’s identity she was covering up then was her own. I can understand why someone on a break would be like "eh just don't use my name"....I'm getting Bilbo baggins vibes lmaooo. But the biggest strike against this theory might be that if Swift wrote a song with Mitchell, she’d probably want to shout it from the rooftops rather than hide it. Someone named William Bowery is credited with co-writing two songs on Folklore, “Betty” and “Exile.” But no one has ever heard of Bowery, and no one with that name has any previous songwriting credits to speak of, according to fans who have combed through all readily available reference material. She chose to use a pseudonym just because she wanted to. The reason I think he is using a pseudonym is because he wants to stay private for personal reasons. i could be wrong, but wasn’t ed sheeran totally silent when taylor specifically asked for men in the music industry to speak out about her masters? Watch the video below! While his devoted fans waited in the rain for doors to open at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg, The Bowery Presents Live slipped into the venue to watch Ed deliver an exclusive performance of "The A Team". Ed’s roots are more folk and just like Taylor he switched to pop. The best of movies, TV, books, music, and more, delivered to your inbox three times a week. Perhaps so no one even tries to call or email him to ask him about the record I would assume. The Trump Campaign’s Voter Fraud Hotline Keeps Getting Pranked, the real Bowery is an experienced songwriter, some thought the resulting songs were about Swift, wanting to keep their relationship very private. Why would Swift and Sheeran have to hide their collaboration when it’s common knowledge that they’re pals who’ve recorded songs together before? Not a bad theory, but my biggest issue is Aaron said that "William" brought Exile to Taylor and Taylor said that none of her friends knew she was working on anything. Also the guitar in Betty is very much his style (for eg his song Lego house is very guitar heavy). Please try again later. Lastly, Sheeran has a grandfather named William, one who’s appeared in his own lyrics. I am on board with it either being Harry Styles or Ed Sheeran tbh. Perhaps Alwyn didn’t exactly help write “Exile” or “Betty,” but Swift quoted his notes or texts to her in it. Of course, the same could just as easily be true of someone else. Don’t a lot of people have grandfathers named William? That doesn’t mean it’s impossible that Austin could be Bowery, just that he’s no more likely to be Bowery than anyone else in Swift’s inner circle. We also know that Ed sometimes incorporates Harmonica into his live performances ( But some of them are probably just stans who want to believe. They point out that Sheeran and Swift are friends and he is also a musician, one with roots in folk. His grandfather’s name is William. (Then again, when Swift herself used a pen name, she chose a man’s name.) Boys have come and gone over the years, but Swift’s commitment to upholding her reputation has been a constant. He probably wants to stay out of public eye and news headlines. Photos by Paul Kane/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio, Paul C. Babin/, Rolling Around on the Floor in the Pop-Tarts Aisle, another mystery connected to his sister earlier this year, Some Guy Just Skipped a Golf Ball Three Times Across a Pond and Made a Hole-in-One at the Masters. The complete lack of an internet trail is suspicious. The strongest evidence for the Styles-as-Bowery case might be that it would indeed cause a frenzy if the media found out that Styles and Swift collaborated, which seems like a plausible motivation for pseudonym-ing up. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. This one is about as thin as the BTS and LDR theories: Fans have guessed that William Bowery could be a pseudonym for Lorde because Lorde and Swift are friends and that would be cool. And after Bon Iver joined the song, I think Ed would put his name on it. It’s not like a collab between them would be a huge news story. Folklore’s release last week was no different from any of Swift’s previous outings in this respect, as online platforms quickly exploded with fan speculation about what it all means. Separately, fans noticed that the art that went along with the song resembled a childhood photo of Austin, who had also referenced “the Dolphin Club” in his display name on Twitter at some point.


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