Taylor Swift is notorious for leaving her detail-oriented fans tiny hints, bread crumbs, and clues about the who, what, where, and why behind her songs. Unfortunately, if you encourage your listeners to be code-crackers, they are inevitably going to crack under the pressure of puzzling out the meaning of an ordinary goof. According to Swift, who stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday evening, one fan theory about an upcoming third Taylor Swift album was inspired not by a carefully placed hidden word, but by an honest mistake.
Swift released her album folklore on July 24. Soon her fans discovered the word “woodvale” written in white on the cover image. Once the singer’s second quarantine album, evermore, arrived last week on December 11, some decided woodvale must be the name of a third upcoming album. According to Taylor herself, however, the word was actually the production title of folklore that had been inadvertently left on a mock-up of the image she eventually selected for the EP cover.
“I tend to be sort of annoyingly secret agent-y about dropping clues and hints and Easter eggs,” Swift explains. “And then sometimes, I take it too far, and I make a mistake … Basically, when I was making folklore back in July, I was too afraid to even unveil the title of the album to even my closest teammates and management. I didn’t tell anybody the album title until it right before 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, and then decided, ‘I don’t actually want to have a title on the album covers,’ and we forgot to take the fake code name off of one of them.”
Jimmy, of course, protests this extremely quotidian explanation, but Taylor insists it was just a gaffe. So at least we know one thing for certain: When Taylor Swift does release her surprise third album of the quarantine, it absolutely, positively, probably won’t be named woodvale.