Taylor Swift's new album 'The Tortured Poets Department': Everything we know – Business Insider

Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album is on the horizon.
While onstage at the 2024 Grammy Awards on Sunday to accept the award for best pop vocal album, which she won for her 2022 release “Midnights,” Swift announced that a brand new album titled “The Tortured Poets Department” will arrive on April 19.
“This is my 13th Grammy, which is my lucky number,” she said onstage. “I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that.”
“I want to 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,” Swift continued. “So I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I have been keeping from you for the last two years.”
Shortly after leaving the stage, Swift shared the album cover on social media.
She also shared a prologue, which appears to be unreleased lyrics: “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. “Sincerely, The Chairman of The Tortured Poets Department.”
A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift)
This isn’t the first time Swift has used an award show to promote a new album. Back in 2022, she announced the arrival of “Midnights” while accepting video of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards.
However, the reveal shocked fans, who had been anticipating another “Taylor’s Version” announcement. Swift still has two installments left in her rerecorded album series: 2017’s “Reputation” and her self-titled debut “Taylor Swift.”
“The Tortured Poets Department” is a conspicuously wordy phrase for Swift, who tends to prefer one or two-word album titles.
However, the title may be an obscure reference to Swift’s ex-boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. The actor previously said he was in a group chat with Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott called “The Tortured Man Club.”
Mescal also has a connection to Swiftian lore; he dated Phoebe Bridgers, who recorded a duet with Swift for “Red (Taylor Version).”
Bridgers seemed to confirm her split from Mescal in early 2023; Swift and Alwyn reportedly broke up around the same time after six years together. One month after the news was made public, Swift was romantically linked to The 1975 frontman Matty Healy.
Healy may be another aforementioned muse (“My muses, acquired like bruises”) for “The Tortured Poets Department.” Before deleting his Instagram account, Healy shared a photo of himself kissing Bridgers — flanked by her current boyfriend Bo Burnham — with the caption “Gay Poets Society.”
Of course, the caption itself is a cheeky nod to the classic film “Dead Poets Society” — but it was released in 1989, famously the same year Swift was born.
One day after her announcement, Swift shared the tracklist on social media.
The 17 song titles are printed next to a photo of Swift with her eyes shut, presumably for the physical album’s back cover. The tagline reads, “I love you, it’s ruining my life.”
Fans quickly drew a connection to the bridge in “Cruel Summer,” the second track on her 2019 album “Lover” (“I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?”).
A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift)
Indeed, several song titles indicate “The Tortured Poets Department” will be a true breakup album, with callbacks to old love songs in Swift’s catalog.
Track three is titled “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,” which could be another reference to a “Cruel Summer” lyric: “Bad, bad boy, shiny toy with a price / You know that I bought it.”
Track five, “So Long, London,” is likely a nod to the “Lover” track “London Boy,” which fans presume was inspired by Alwyn. (He was born and raised in North London; Swift moved to the English city shortly after they began dating.)
The title for track seven, “Fresh Out the Slammer,” is a euphemism for getting out of jail. Back in 2017, Swift compared her partner to a “jailer” on the “Reputation” single “…Ready For It?” (“He can be my jailer, Burton to this Taylor“).
The final track on the album’s standard edition, “Clara Bow,” is named after a silent film-era actress who was described by her biographer David Stenn as “sexually aggressive and confident — a real role model.”
“Marilyn Monroe sort of took that back because she was sort of a Barbie doll,” Stenn told The Los Angeles Times. “Clara Bow was in charge. She domesticated the men. She taught men to come to her. She never gave up her autonomy or her independence.”
Like Swift’s 2020 album “Folklore,” “The Tortured Poets Department” will have 16 standard songs and one bonus track called “The Manuscript.”
It will also include two guest vocalists: Post Malone is featured on track one, “Fortnight,” while Florence + the Machine is featured on track eight, “Florida!!!”
Swift has never collaborated with either artist, though Florence’s latest album “Dance Fever” was produced by Swift’s longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff. As for Malone, he and Swift have been friends since at least 2019.
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