Taylor Swift has been quite busy in 2020. She’s dropped two albums this year, folklore and evermore, as well as started working on re-recording her music after her longtime feud with Scooter Braun led to her masters being sold again. Now her wildly-attentive fanbase is onto the theory that a third album of brand new material might be on the way, but Taylor Swift has come out to address those theories and explain what really happened.
The “Exile” singer visited Jimmy Kimmel Live! this week and, of course, Kimmel had to ask about the fan theories that have cropped up on the internet after evermore dropped. One of these theories actually relates to Taylor Swift’s earlier album, folklore, which dropped during the summer of 2020. Per the theory, a small, barely noticeable word can be seen on some of the album artwork that says Woodvale, which you can see below. Fans have taken this to be the title of an upcoming third album after evermore dropped.
However, if you were to ask Taylor Swift -- and Jimmy Kimmel did -- it was all a happy mistake. Her explanation is lengthy, but she says Woodvale was a big “oops” from her team, noting,
OK, well this takes a bit of explanation. So, I tend to be sort of annoyingly secret agent-y about dropping clues and hints and Easter eggs. And it’s very annoying. But it’s fun for fans and it’s fun for me because they like to pick up on things. And they’ll notice things in music videos or whatever. Then, sometimes I take it too far and I make a mistake. Basically, when I was making folklore, the album that came out back in July, I was too afraid to unveil the title of the album to even my closest teammates or management.
Basically, Taylor Swift went around for months telling those nearest and dearest to her that she was working on an album called Woodvale. This obviously wasn’t true and folklore came out in July instead. If you choose to believe her narrative here, seeing Woodvale hidden on the cover was a mistake and not something meant to lead her fanbase down a certain path. She also told Jimmy Kimmel:
I didn’t tell anybody the album title until it came out. So, I came up with a fake code name that had the same amount of letters as folklore. Chose a random name. Chose Woodvale. Wanted to see how it would look on the album covers. Mocked them up. Then decided, I don’t really want the title on the album covers. Then forgot to take the fake code name off of one.
Jimmy Kimmel, of course, does not totally buy what Taylor Swift is saying and asks her again whether Woodvale could mean more than she is alluding to. There’s a funny Lost reference involved in this conversation, if you want to peruse the whole thing for your own peace of mind.
Taylor Swift is not wrong that she has put out Easter eggs and other hints foreshadowing what is to come for years. In fact, before evermore dropped, fans were privy to the fact that something was coming thanks to a hint she dropped on social media. So, it’s easy to see why her fanbase believed they found a clue hidden in the album artwork.
However, T-Swift also has just a ton of work ahead of her. She’s going to re-record all of her masters, and she recently gave fans a taste of what is to come thanks to sharing some of that re-recorded music with Ryan Reynolds for a funny Match.com ad. So, if there theoretically were an album called Woodvale, it would maybe be on the backburner for a while anyway. Though, if she can manage a third full album in the coming months, I am nothing if not impressed over Taylor Swift’s output. As she told Jimmy Kimmel though she's "so tired" these days.