Taylor Swift has debunked fan theories that a third surprise album called ‘Woodvale’ is on the way.
Rumours that a third album would follow July’s ‘Folklore‘ and last week’s ‘Evermore‘ began after fans spotted the word ‘woodvale’ hidden in the top corner of the ‘Folklore’ album cover, which could refer to an estate near the Lake District – a location Swift references on the album’s track ‘The Lakes’.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel on December 14, Swift quashed the rumours that ‘Woodvale’ was the title of a new album – and explained that it was actually a “fake code name” for ‘Folklore’ that came out of her reluctance to share its actual title.
“I tend to sort of be annoyingly secret-agent-y about dropping hints and clues and easter eggs,” she told Kimmel. “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 lots of things in music videos or whatever. And sometimes I take it too far and I make a mistake.”
Swift explained that while making ‘Folklore’, she “was too afraid to even unveil the title to even my closest team mates and management. I didn’t tell anyone the album title until before it came out.” So she selected a “fake code name” for ‘Folklore’ that had the same number of letters, and landed on ‘woodvale’.
“[I] wanted to see how they would look on the album covers, mocked them up, then decided I don’t actually want to have a title on the album cover. And we forgot to take the fake code name off of one of them.”
Swift also revealed that ‘Evermore’ had a code name – ‘November’, but they did remember to take the code name off the mockups.
And after Kimmel’s further ribbing about a third surprise album, Swift replied: “Jimmy, I’m so tired. I’m just so exhausted. I’ve tired myself out, I have nothing left.” Watch their interview below:
When speculating on the possibility of a ‘woodvale’ album, fans also pointed to the fact that Swift has released merchandise, including cardigans and scrunchies, in sets of three, with two of them corresponding to the visual aesthetics of ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ and the supposed third album.
the cardigans; first of all there’s 3. they do correspond so far to the album covers. if teal is folklore, and beige is evermore,woodvale is the white/grey aesthetic. not only is there 3 stars on the cardigan sleeve,there’s 3 different stars you get with any order.they match also pic.twitter.com/LwBE23Q8eQ
— ryan (@wiIIowpov) December 11, 2020
They also honed in on Swift’s use of the phrase “the journey continues” to tease the music video for ‘Willow’, and the way she used Easter eggs to drop hints about ‘Evermore’ back in July.
In addition, when a user searched ‘Woodvale’ on Spotify, Swift came up as a result.
HOLD ON, WHEN YOU SEARCH “woodvale” IT’S SHOWING TAYLOR, WHAT WAS THE DAMN REASON pic.twitter.com/UUuRUtSdFf
— Martyna 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 (@breakble_heaven) December 13, 2020
Swift shared the news of ‘Evermore’ just hours before it was released last Friday (December 11).
Sharing an essay about the record, Swift wrote: “In the past I’ve always treated albums as one-off eras and moved onto planning the next one as soon as an album was released.
“There was something different with ‘Folklore’,” she continued. “In making it, I felt less like I was departing and more like I was returning.”
Collaborators on ‘Evermore’ have spoken about the experience of recording. Bon Iver said he was “honoured” to have worked further with the star after doing so on the ‘Folklore’ song ‘Exile’, while Matt Berninger of The National likened singing a song with Swift to “dancing with Gene Kelly”.