Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department: Everything We Know About the New Album

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Leave it to Taylor Swift to shut down the 2024 Grammy Awards with a surprise announcement. Apparently, the pop star has been quietly working on her 11th studio album for two years now. The project was a secret until February 4, when she finally unveiled its name and release date during her acceptance speech for best pop vocal album for Midnights. Swifties expected their idol to mark the milestone win by dropping Reputation (Taylor’s Version), but Blondie, always three steps ahead, pulled a fast one by revealing news of a different album instead: The Tortured Poets Department.

“Okay, this is my 13th Grammy. My lucky number; I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that,” Swift joked onstage. “I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the last two years. Which is that my brand-new album comes out April 19. It’s called The Tortured Poets Department.”

Here's everything we know about The Tortured Poets Department so far:

What’s the significance of the album title?

If we take Swift at her word on the two-year timeline, that means she must have written at least part of this album while she was dating her actor ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn.

In May 2022, Alwyn famously told British GQ that he and fellow actor Paul Mescal have a group chat called the Tortured Man Club, a callback to the fact that they've both starred in TV adaptations of Sally Rooney's moody modern romance novels. The theory really gets compelling when you couple that tidbit with a lyric from the Folklore bonus track, “The Lakes,” which is believed to have been written about Alwyn. “Take me to the lakes, where all the poets went to die,” Swift croons in the song. “I don’t belong, and my beloved, neither do you. Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry. I’m setting off, but not without my muse.”

When does the new album drop?

It'll be out April 19, 2024. Some have noted that April 19 is the same day several members of Swift's bestie squad, including Gigi Hadid and the Haim sisters, unfollowed Alwyn on Instagram in short succession in 2023. It's also worth noting that Swift will still be on the Eras Tour when Tortured Poets drops, so there could be some potential changes to the set list.

What is the new album about?

Swifties certainly seem convinced it will be a Joe Alwyn breakup album. The sentiment behind track names like “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,” “Down Bad,” “So Long, London,” and “But Daddy I Love Him” appears to confirm as much. A similarly mournful yet vengeful vibe can be detected in the album's tagline: “All's fair in love and poetry.”

What is the track list for the new album?

So glad you asked! The album will include 16 songs and four bonus tracks. In addition to the cover art, Taylor Swift also shared the record's back cover and track list on Instagram. Collaborators include rapper Post Malone and the ethereal Florence + the Machine.

Side A

Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)
The Tortured Poets Department
My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys
Down Bad

Side B

So Long, London
But Daddy I Love Him
Fresh Out the Slammer
Florida!!! (Florence + the Machine)

Side C

Guilty as Sin?
Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?
I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)

Side D

I Can Do It With a Broken Heart
The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived
The Alchemy
Clara Bow
Bonus Track: The Manuscript

Other bonus tracks include “The Bolter,” “The Albatross,” and “The Black Dog.”


I can see it, actually.

What else do we know about the new album?

The album is already available for preorder on her website in several formats, including CD, cassette, vinyl, and digital album. You can also cop a collector’s edition deluxe CD, which will include a 20-page booklet packed with previously unseen photos, photo cards, a bookmark, and a magnet.

Everything Taylor’s said about the album:

During her Eras Tour stop in Tokyo on February 6, Swift told the audience that work began on the new record immediately after finishing her last.

“I’ve been working on Tortured Poets since right after I turned in Midnights,” she can be heard saying to fans in a clip of the show circulating on X. “So you turn in an album months in advance so you can make vinyls, which are the best. And so I started working on it immediately after that and I've been working on it for about two years. I kept working on it throughout the US tour, and when it was perfect, in my opinion, when it was good enough for you, I finished it. And I am so, so excited that soon you'll get to hear it; soon we’ll get to experience it together.”

On Monday, March 18, Apple Music users who had pre-saved the album received a voice note from Swift herself, in which she said, “Hi, Apple Music, it's Taylor! Thank you for pre-adding The Tortured Poets Department. I'm really proud to be able to share it with you on April 19. I can't wait for you to hear it!”

Additionally, per JustJared, Apple has tagged “The Tortured Poets Department,” “Down Bad,” “But Daddy I Love Him,” “loml,” “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” “Florida!!!” with the “explicit” label and categorized it under “pop.”

During a February performance in Melbourne, Australia, Swift got emotional about the project, telling the crowd, “I needed to make it. It was really a lifeline for me.” Per fan-recorded videos, she continued “It sort of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through life. And I’ve never had an album where I’ve needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets.”

Now that we have exact timeline for the creation of Tortured Poets, I suppose that means Swift could already be working on another album? Only time will tell.

Everything Jack Antonoff’s said about the album:

Nothing! He won't talk about it. He doesn't want the press using his words for clickbait. Alas, his lack of words also counts as clickbait. Sorry, Jack! Them's the breaks!

Per Us, Antonoff was speaking to a Dutch news outlet by phone when the interviewer asked him a question related to Swift's latest projects. “You know I don’t talk about that,” he reportedly said. “If you’re looking for clickbait, you’ve come to the wrong place. Thank you for this conversation.” Then he hung up.

Sorry! Sorry.

Any lyric teases?

In honor of the total solar eclipse on April 8, Swift shared a Tortured Poets preorder link on her Instagram Stories with what appears to be an on-theme lyric: “Crowd goes wild at her fingertips / Half moonshine, full eclipse.”

This post will be updated.

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This could change the song's meaning entirely.

Originally Appeared on Glamour