It all started with a simple tweet. Long-time Killing Eve fan (and global superstar) Taylor Swift took to Twitter on Sunday night to voice her support for a cover of her song that was played on the show’s latest episode. The clip features a haunting version of her hit ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ performed by the band Jack Leopards & The Dolphin Club. Seems innocuous enough, right?
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 25, 2020
Uh, wrong. Taylor’s loyal army of Swifties have been trained to look for clues and sniff out Easter eggs, so it didn’t take long for them to figure out everything was not as it seems. A quick Google search revealed that the band credited doesn’t actually exist, and one of the producers listed for the song is Nils Sjoberg.
Sound familiar? That’s because it’s Taylor’s pseudonym that she used back in 2016 when she wrote and sang backing vocals on Calvin Harris’s track ‘This Is What You Came For’. The name was last seen written on a gravestone in her ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ music video.
So Taylor produced the cover, but who do the male vocals belong to? The plot thickened when fans remembered an article published a few months ago claiming that Taylor ‘begged’ Phoebe Waller-Bridge to let her brother sing on the Killing Eve soundtrack. (We doubt Taylor has to beg anybody, so it’s likely she planted the story herself as a clue.) Austin Swift was spotted in the studio with Taylor and Jack Antonoff back in December 2019, pretty much confirming our suspicions.
The song’s artwork is a photo of Austin as a child wearing a shirt that says ‘Dolphin Club’. It appears to be a long-running inside joke, as he even changed his Twitter name to the phrase way back in 2013. Fans put all the pieces together and realised the meaning behind the fictional band’s name must be ‘Jack’ for Jack Antonoff and ‘Dolphin Club’ for Austin, so therefore ‘Leopards’ must represent Taylor. She wore an iconic leopard print coat in the ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ music video.
While Taylor hasn’t publicly announced anything, she did like a post on Tumblr praising how quick fans were to solve the theory. The big question that many people must be wondering is why did she go to such great lengths to re-release her own song under a pseudonym? Well, it’s actually incredibly smart.
Taylor’s battle to own her music is still ongoing, and she’s previously spoken about trying to limit the amount of money her former record label (and Scooter Braun) makes from her music. She currently denies all requests from TV and films to licence her songs and is planning to re-record her previous albums. By creating a cover of her own track under a pseudonym, Taylor maintains creative control over her music and is able to approve the use of it in broadcasting without worrying about lining the pockets of her detractors.