Swift released a new video on August 17 titled, "Taylor Swift - The Making of cardigan | Vevo Footnotes," which is an annotated version of "cardigan," giving fans and audiences a behind-the-scenes detailed look at how the visuals came together during quarantine.
The most classic Swiftian hidden clues were in the opening of the video, when the singer is playing on the piano in a cabin. Above the instrument is an old framed photo of her grandfather, whose arrival on the beaches of Guadalcanal in World War II is the subject of her song "epiphany." There's also a framed piece of art that she painted herself during quarantine, as well as a clock pointing to "1" and "3," as her favorite number is 13.
The footnotes also walk through the symbolism of the different settings in the visual. The forest represents the "evergreen beginning of a relationship where everything seems magical and full of beauty." When she finds herself in a roiling ocean, that represents "the isolation and fear involved when a relationship is breaking down." And finally, when she returns to the cabin, she's "returning to a sense of self after experiencing love lost." Though she back home safe, her clothes are still wet, which signify "that she was changed by the journey but has discovered who she always was."
Fans can also get more of a backstory on how her collaboration with The National's Aaron Dessner (who contributed heavily to folklore) came together, as well as her collaboration with the video's Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto ( who also did "The Man"). You can also get a sense through the video of how meticulous Swift and her team were in making sure the set was COVID-19-safe, and also leak-safe — Swift kept the album a secret from everyone until the last minute by wearing an earpiece with the music during filming and didn't have folklore superimposed on the piano in the video until the day the album dropped.
Taylor Swift, queen of surprises and gifts that keep on giving: you fooled us. Check out the annotated video in a whole new light below.