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‘The Tortured Poets Department’ – Everything We Know about Taylor Swift’s new album

‘The Tortured Poets Department’ – Everything We Know about Taylor Swift’s new album

Taylor Swift fans, unite! Because Mother herself has, once again, sent out the Bat Signal, and it’s in the form of just four little words: The Tortured Poets Department. During the 2024 Grammys, the mega pop star and TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year announced to the fans that she was about to release her new album, sending the internet into an absolute frenzy. If you’re waiting with bated breath like we are for the latest album to drop, here’s everything we know so far.

The Announcement

During the 2024 Grammys, Swift received two coveted awards: Best Pop Vocal Album of the Year and Album of the Year. During her Best Pop Vocal acceptance speech, she dropped a bombshell on Swiftie Nation — that she would be releasing her 11th album in April. This isn’t a new move for the marketing genius. In 2022 at the VMAs, she announced her most recent album, Midnights, during her acceptance speech for Best Video for her ever popular All Too Well: The Short Film.

Swift also chose to announce her new album during her 13th Grammy win, and since we all know that 13 is Swift’s lucky number, Tortured Poets is bound to be a notable project. Immediately following her acceptance speech, Swift went backstage and released the cover art for the album, which was a black and white sultry picture of her in a black tank top and shorts on a bed. The tagline for the album was “All is fair in love and poetry.”

Easter Eggs and Hidden Meanings

Fans knew that something was up due to all of the hints that Swift was dropping, leading up to the announcement. First, she was wearing all black and white at the Grammys, and savvy fans noticed she was rocking 6 necklaces. She also changed all of her social media pictures to black and white. These were what many believed to be allusions to Reputation, her sixth album, and what they thought would be her announcement of its re-recording (Taylor’s Version). Finally, her website went dark just before the Grammys, and all that was left in its place was a coded message, “hneriergrd,” which fans decrypted to mean “red herring.”

The Songs, Featured Artists and Possible Muses

The day after Swift announced Poets, she also released the track list, which includes 16 songs, plus a bonus track, across four “sides.” Side A includes Fortnight, The Tortured Poets Department, My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys and Down Bad. Side B is comprised of So Long, London, But Daddy I Love Him, Fresh Out the Slammer and Florida!!!. Side C includes Guilty as Sin?, Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?, I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can) and loml. And the final side consists of I Can Do It With a Broken Heart, The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived, The Alchemy and Clara Bow, as well as a bonus track titled The Manuscript.

As with past projects, Swift is said to have worked with a few other artists on this album. Such artists include Post Malone on Fortnight and Florence + The Machine on Florida!!!. It’s also rumored that Swift worked with her longtime friend and collaborator, Jack Antonoff.

But let’s get to the heart of the matter. Because that’s what we Swifties live for — what (or who) is the inspiration behind these new songs? As with many of her past recordings, it’s said that this album is “inspired” by her ex-lovers, or perhaps, one in particular. Swift hinted that none of these songs were based on her current boyfriend, Travis Kelce. This is because during her acceptance speech, she made sure to mention that she’s been keeping the project a secret for two years. That would mean it has been in the works well before she and Kelce became America’s sweethearts. So fans suspect that it could be based on her most recent ex, Joe Alwyn. Swiftie Nation quickly theorized this based on the album’s title as well since it’s very close to the name of a group chat that was shared by actors Alwyn and Paul Mescal, “The Tortured Man Club.” Not to mention, one of the album’s songs is titled, So Long, London, which is Alwyn’s hometown.

Another muse of Swift’s is the 1920s actress, Clara Bow, which is the title of the album’s last song. Clara Bow was often in the tabloids for her many lovers, so anyone can see the how Swift could relate to that in the present day.

How and when to get it

Swift’s dropping her latest album on April 19, and you can preorder it on her website. In addition to the standard album, there will also be deluxe versions released, and each will include a different bonus track. One of these is a second version of Tortured Poets, named The Bolter, which features a different cover that reads “You don’t get to tell me about sad” on the back. In place of The Manuscript, this edition’s bonus track will also be titled The Bolter. A third version is named The Albatross, which will also include a different cover and the alternate bonus track, The Albatross. On the back cover, it will read: “Am I allowed to cry?” The final alternate version will be called The Black Dog with the tagline, “Old habits die screaming…”.

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