Taylor Swift Teases New Lyrics From Upcoming Album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

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Taylor Swift announced a new album during her first 2024 Grammys speech of the evening...and it wasn’t Reputation (Taylor’s Version) despite rampant fan speculation. Swift instead shared she has an entirely new release coming:

“Hey, this is my 13th grammy,” she started. “My lucky number. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that. I wanna say thank you to the members of the Recording Academy for voting this way. But I know that the way that the Recording Academy voted is a direct reflection of the passion of the fans. So I wanna 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 19th. It’s called The Tortured Poets Department, and I’m going to go and post the cover right now backstage. Thank you. I love you. Thank you.”

Swift did indeed post the cover (featuring her in bed, lounging in black lingerie) and another little hint about the work: “All’s fair in love and poetry... New album THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT. Out April 19 🤍”

She also teased the album’s mood in the second slide: “And so I enter into evidence / My tarnished coat of arms / My muses, acquired like bruises / My talismans and charms / The tick, tick, tick of love bombs / My veins of pitch black ink / All’s fair in love and poetry. Sincerely, the Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department.”

The Track List

On Monday, February 5, Swift dropped the 17-song track list. It added further evidence to fans that the album could have several Joe Alwyn breakup songs, especially with track five being called “So Long, London” after Swift had released “London Boy” on Lover years earlier. Fans also noted Swift’s Tampa, Floria stops on her Eras tour were her first after news broke of her and Alwyn’s breakup, perhaps what “Florida!!!” is referencing.

Here’s the full list:

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!!! (feat. 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

When Swift Wrote The Tortured Poets Department

Swift revealed during her February 7 Tokyo concert that she began work on the album two years ago, in early 2022. Swift wrote Midnights track “You’re Losing Me,” believed by fans to be a song about the end of her romance with Joe Alwyn, on Dec. 5, 2021.

“I’ve been working on Tortured Poets since right after I turned in Midnights,” she said. “So you turn in an album months in advance so you can make finals, make sure it’s the best. 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 U.S. 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. Soon you’ll get to hear it. Soon we’ll get to experience that together. And I’m just like, I’m over the moon about the fact that you guys care about my music. It still blows my mind. I love doing this. I know I keep saying that, but that’s because it’s true. Everyone’s like, ‘Why do you make so many albums?’ I’m like, ‘Man, because I love it! I love it so much. I’m having fun. Leave me alone.’”

The First Bonus Song: “The Bolter”

On February 16, Swift announced a new edition of The Tortured Poets Department with a bonus track called “The Bolter.” Fans quickly found evidence the song could be about Alwyn, recirculating August 2022 paparazzi footage of them running from a VMAs after-party to their car to avoid being photographed. They held hands in it.

She emphasized the number 13 with a reminder to fans in early April.

On April 6, Swift posted a video to her Instagram Stories of an old typewriter with a message being typed out to fans that reads, “13 days until THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT.”

At the end the message, the “return” is hit for added flair.

On April 13, a new promotion on Apple Music for the album lets fans find a hidden message from Swift on the streaming service. Each day, a new word will be revealed in one of Swift’s five playlists exclusively released the streaming platform. Each playlist represents one of the five stages of heartbreak, according to the singer: denial in the “I Love You, It’s Ruining My Life” playlist, anger in the “You Don’t Get to Tell Me About Sad” playlist, bargaining in the “Am I Allowed to Cry?” playlist, depression in the “Old Habits Die Screaming” playlist, and acceptance in the “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” playlist.

On April 18, full message is to be revealed just a day ahead of The Tortured Poets Department's release.

To begin the mystery, the letters H, E, Y, B, E and R were capitalized throughout the lyrics of “Glitch,” according to Billboard. Rearranged, they spell “Hereby.”

On April 14, she shared a post on Instagram that seemed to be a full lyric reveal, using a photo of herself looking through the “phantom clear” vinyl album and writing in the caption, “I wish I could un-recall how we almost had it all.”

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