Following Sunday’s new episode of Killing Eve, pop star Taylor Swift took to social media to promote a cover of her song ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ that played over the opening title sequence. Online, Swift went so far to express she was “VERY EXCITED” about the cover done by a group called Jack Leopards and the Dolphin Club.
With a plug from one of the biggest names in the industry, fans of Swift were quick to check out the band. And what they found was surprising. They found…nothing. Absolutely nothing. Besides the LWYMMD cover, Jack Leopards and the Dolphin Club has basically no social media presence, no discography listing any other songs or records, not even a website to list the members of the band. It would appear the band doesn’t actually exist. With several things not adding up the Swifties, naturally, went on a deep dive.
Things quickly pieced together when some super sleuths noticed Nils Sjöberg was credited as a producer on the cover alongside Jack Antonoff. Nils Sjöberg is a known pseudonym of Swift’s that was discovered back in 2016 following the release of “This Is What You Came For”, a song she wrote with her now ex, Calvin Harris. Nils Sjöberg even made a brief come back in the LWYMMD music video where the name appeared on a tombstone above a picture of a dolphin. So the plot thickens.
Fans then took to dissecting the cover art for Jack Leopards and the Dolphin Club.
Despite the fairly minimalist style, this artwork actually holds a clue that seasoned Swifties picked up on quickly. First of all, the child in the picture? The face might be covered up but there is no denying the striking resemblance to a childhood photo of Swift’s brother, Austin Swift.
On top of the shirt literally having “dolphin club” on it, according to New York Post “The Dolphin Club” was actually Austin’s Twitter handle once upon a time. Austin, along with other family members, were spotted with producer Jack Antonoff at the studio late last year; leading fans to conclude that Austin Swift is behind the vocals for Jack Leopards and the Dolphin Club.
The Daily Mail even printed a rumor that Swift asked Phoebe Waller-Bridge if her brother could sing on the Killing Eve soundtrack at one point. Everything seems to fit. Taylor Swift, Austin Swift and Jack Antonoff are the players behind the mysterious Jack Leopards and the Dolphin Club. But why? What is the point of creating a fake band just to get a cover of her song on television?
To truly appreciate this absolute power move, one must go back to 2019 when celebrity music manager Scooter Braun took total control of her entire music catalogue. After Braun’s company, Ithaca Holdings LLC, acquired her former record label Big Machine Label Group, in a reported $300 million deal, Braun took control and a chunk of the profit from Swift’s six albums as well as music from other top artists such as Reba McEntire, Sheryl Crow, and Lady Antebellum.
In a Tumblr post published last June, Swift revealed that she learned of this deal the same time as everyone else. “Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world…All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.” She went on to say that she was “sad and grossed out” over the sale of her music, although she was more than eager to re-record her albums.
Since then it’s been an ongoing battle with little success on Swift’s end. But she isn’t one to be discouraged. Which brings us back to Jack Leopards and the Dolphin Club.
Assuming she really is the brains behind the operation, that means Taylor Swift managed to get one of her most popular songs on her favorite TV show (which was revealed on an episode of Ellen) and made sure Scooter Braun didn’t earn a single penny in the process. Even if you aren’t a fan of her music, one can’t help but appreciate the subtle genius behind this move.
Click here to check out the cover on your favorite streaming services!