A Brand New Taylor Swift Era Is Almost Upon Us. Here's Everything You Need To Know

It's nearly time to enter The Tortured Poets Department.
Taylor Swift performing at the 2021 Grammys
Taylor Swift performing at the 2021 Grammys
TAS Rights Management 2021 via Getty Images

Are you ready for it? A new Taylor Swift era is almost upon us.

The pop icon is returning with her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, this Friday (19 April).

In true Taylor fashion, the singer has not been holding back with easter eggs to tide her loyal Swifties over until the full collection arrives.

So far we have a tracklist, lyrical teasers and plenty of cryptic clues to dive into – some of which have led fans to believe that this album will be inspired by her ex-boyfriend of six years, Joe Alwyn.

Here’s what we know about the album so far…

What’s Taylor been up to since her last album?

Since the release of Midnights in October 2022, the record-breaking Grammy winner dropped the re-recorded version of her 1989 album to rave reviews. The new version arrived with new “from the vault” tracks including Is It Over Now?, which topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

Taylor has also been traversing the globe with her record-smashing Eras tour, which journeys through all of her albums in one epic show spanning more than three hours and 15 minutes.

Taylor on stage in Brazil last year
Taylor on stage in Brazil last year
Buda Mendes/TAS23 via Getty Images

In her personal life, she’s also parted ways with Joe Alwyn after six years, and is now loved up with new boyfriend Travis Kelce (following reports of a short-lived romance with The 1975’s Matty Healy).

Since going public with their relationship in October 2023, the pair have been dominating headlines, with Taylor stopping by the Super Bowl when Travis’ team the Kansas City Chiefs triumphed earlier in the year.

Travis Kelce celebrating his win at the Super Bowl with Taylor Swift
Travis Kelce celebrating his win at the Super Bowl with Taylor Swift
Ezra Shaw via Getty Images

How did The Tortured Poets Department get announced?

Taylor revealed that The Tortured Poets Department was coming while receiving her 13th Grammy award. When the singer picked up the gong for Best Pop Vocal Album for her Midnights back in February, she made the bombshell announcement at the end of her speech.

“This is my 13th Grammy, which is my lucky number, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that,” she quipped.

“I know that the way that the Recording Academy voted is a direct reflection of the passion of the fans. So, 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 on 19 April.”

When did Taylor Swift write The Tortured Poets Department?

Taylor is certainly living up to her reputation as one of the hardest grafting pop stars out there at the moment, after revealing to fans that work on the new album started right after she wrapped up her most recent album in 2022.

“I’ve been working on Tortured Poets since right after I turned in Midnights,” she shared during one concert at the Tokyo Dome. “You turn in albums months in advance.”

“I’ve been working on it for about two years,” she continued. “I kept working on it throughout the US tour and when it was perfect – in my opinion when it’s 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 that together.”

Taylor pictured during her 2021 Grammys performance
Taylor pictured during her 2021 Grammys performance
TAS Rights Management 2021 via Getty Images

Who has she worked with?

Taylor is continuing her winning collaborative relationship with Bleachers star Jack Antonoff, with fans also delighted to see The National’s Aaron Dessner is on board, too. The pair are credited as songwriters and producers on The Tortured Poets Department, having both previously worked on Taylor’s 2020 sister albums Folklore and Evermore.

As well as Jack and Aaron, there are also some exciting guest stars to look forward to, including a feature from Florence and the Machine on a song called Florida!!!. Post Malone will also be making an appearance on a song called Fortnight, fresh from duetting with Beyoncé’s on Cowboy Carter’s Levii’s Jeans.

Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift at last year's Grammys
Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift at last year's Grammys
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

What are the songs on The Tortured Poets Department about?

Given Taylor and her boyfriend of six years Joe Alwyn broke up in April 2023, fans have been speculating that the album is probably going to draw inspiration from that relationship and breakup.

Some have even wondered if the title could be taking a shot at the actor, after footage of a 2022 Variety discussion between Joe and fellow Sally Rooney adaptation actor Paul Mescal resurfaced in which the pair hinted that they had a WhatsApp group chat with Andrew Scott.

“It’s the Tortured Man Club, I think,” Joe says in the clip. “It’s me, you – and Andrew Scott started the group.”

Taylor and Joe split roughly four months after the interview was published.

One song called So Long, London on the tracklist also sounds like it could be a potential sequel to London Boy from 2019’s Lover, in which she recalls visiting various spots in the capital – the city where her ex-boyfriend was raised.

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn
Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn
Christopher Polk/NBC via Getty Images

The Tortured Poets Department also looks set to be Taylor’s most “explicit” album yet, with seven out of 16 tracks marked as such in Apple Music’s pre-save preview.

It’s worth noting that reports of a leak have been doing the rounds on social media in the days before the album is due out – and the Swifties have dutifully responded by flooding search terms with click bait diversions. Just be careful not to fall for any AI spoofs.

Is there a tracklist?

Yes there is! Peruse the song titles below...

Fortnight (featuring Post Malone)

The Tortured Poets Department

My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys

Down Bad

So Long, London

But Daddy I Love Him

Fresh Out the Slammer

Florida!!! (featuring Florence and the Machine)

Guilty as Sin?

Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?

I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)

I Can Do It With a Broken Heart

The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived

The Alchemy

Clara Bow

Taylor has also announced four vinyl variants of the new album, each of which will include a different bonus track, as well as alternative cover art. These are titled The Manuscript, The Bolter, The Albatross and The Black Dog.

Has Taylor teased any lyrics from The Tortured Poets Department?

Well, it wouldn’t be a Taylor Swift album release without some clues along the way, would it?

In one social media post, she teased what appears to be a full verse or prologue, saying: “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,” she concluded, signing off her message: “Sincerely, The Chairman of The Tortured Poets Department.”

In another Instagram post, the singer shared the lyrics: “I wish I could un-recall how we almost had it all.”

To coincide with the solar eclipse this month, she also posted a lyric on her Instagram Story: “Crowd goes wild at her fingertips, half moonshine, full eclipse.”

In another teaser for The Black Dog vinyl variant, she wrote: “Old habits die screaming…”

Are there any other clues?

Spotify launched a three-day library pop-up at The Grove in Los Angeles in the days leading up to the release, which contained some more easter eggs.

One clue that fans spotted was the presence of 72 mini Dewey Decimal System Drawers – which they speculated could represent the 72 months (or six years) that Taylor and Joe were together.

“With poetry being a touchstone of this album, we wanted to create a campaign as thoughtful and ornate to immerse fans in the world of TTPD,” Taryn Lacroix, the manager of label partnerships at Spotify, told Elle.

A globe of the world placed on a shelf at the installation also revealed a pin in Miami, which fans believe is probably in reference to her new song Florida!!!.

Tea-stained lyric sheets featuring the previously teased “all’s fair and love in poetry” lyrics were also placed around for fans to see

However, some weren’t particularly impressed to see that there was a typo on the word “talisman”, and a bit of a continuity error in leaving a fountain pen on top of a type-written message. Oops.

You can check out the finer details of that installation here.

Online, meanwhile Taylor posted an easter egg filled video to her Instagram this week, captioned: “The TTPD Timetable.”

In the video, the camera pans out from a Midnights-themed room and into a fluorescent lit school hallway, before entering The Tortured Poets Department office.

One clue is that glitter gel pens are left behind in the Midnights room – this is an important detail to Swifties.

During a speech for Songwriter-Artist of the Decade at the annual Nashville Songwriters Association International ceremony in 2022, the singer revealed she uses a “dorky” tactic to organise her songs based on genre. They are affectionately titled Quill Lyrics, Fountain Pen Lyrics, and Glitter Gel Pen Lyrics.

She continued: “I came up with these categories based on what writing tool I imagine having in my hand when I scribbled it down, figuratively.”

That means fans are expecting Taylor’s latest songs to be “written” with her quill or fountain pen – which sounds like it would match the monochrome album art well.

What else has Taylor Swift said about her new album?

Taylor has said making The Tortured Poets Department was a “lifeline” for her.

“Tortured Poets is an album – I think more than any of my albums that I’ve ever made – I needed to make it. It was really a lifeline for me,” she said during an Eras show in Melbourne (via NME). “Just the things I was going through and the things I was writing about.

“It kind of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through my life, and I never had an album where I needed songwriting more than I needed it on ‘Tortured Poets.’”

Supportive boyfriend and number one Swiftie Travis Kelce has already called the album “unbelievable”. During a press event for the Super Bowl, he added: “I can’t wait for her to shake up the world when it finally drops.”

Also, we can expect a music video drop at 8pm ET (midnight BST on 20 April) on Friday’s release date, thanks to a final clue in her latest teaser video.

In the meantime, last week Apple Music announced it would be partnering with Taylor to tease a new word each day for the album.

Social media hints direct fans to different tracks, where the lyrics for that song will contain capital letters that spell out a word. The words so far are: Hereby, Conduct and This. You can find more guidance on how to unscramble the words here.

When is The Tortured Poets Department out, and what formats will be available?

The Tortured Poets Department is out on streaming platforms this Friday (April 19), along with vinyl, cassette and CD formats you can purchase here. It is due out at midnight EST, which means fans in the UK should be able to expect it from 5am BST .


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