Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department: Everything You Need To Know About The Album

It’s almost time, my friends. Grammy winner Taylor Swift‘s brand-spankin’ new album The Tortured Poets Department is only a few weeks away. For many heartbroken people around the world, this album — which is sure to feature a heap of break up ballads about her split with Joe Alwyn — has been a hefty silver lining.

Table of contents

When is The Tortured Poets Department‘s release date?

I am overjoyed to tell you that the release date for Taylor’s new album is April 19, 2024. That’s less than two weeks away!!!

Interestingly, some fans believe that the date has a connection with her break up too. On April 19, 2023, Taylor was spotted hanging out with her pals Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds in downtown New York having dinner. While that sounds like normal friend behaviour, it caused a ruckus when fans realised the extremely hot couple unfollowed Joe on social media immediately after.

I wonder what Taylor told Ryan to make him unfollow the man he’d called “made of good stuff” in a TIME tribute just a few months prior? Food for thought!!!!

Although it could be wishful thinking, Swifties seem to be pretty sure that it is intentional. After all, Mama Taylor has a habit of leaving little clues — AKA easter eggs — throughout everything she does.

What’s Taylor Swift’s new album, TTPD, about?

I’ll be honest with you, we don’t know a whole lot about this album. That being said the Swifties have hopes, dreams and theories about what The Tortured Poets Department could be about.

After Taylor shared the album cover — a black and white image of Taylor laying on a bed with her arms wrapped around her — fans drew similarities to two of her previous albums: Folklore and 1989. Folklore is also black and white, while on the 1989 cover, Taylor’s eyes are also cut off from the image.

As a result, fans have speculated that the sound of TTPD will be like a “slutty folklore” and god, I hope they’re right.

Is The Tortured Poets Department about Joe Alwyn?

Swifties are strongly convinced the album is about Joe Alwyn, with the name possibly in reference to a group chat Alwyn has with fellow actors Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott.

In an interview with Variety in 2022, the trio shared that their group chat was called “The Tortured Man Club”. That’s much more poetic than my group chat which has been the “Jerky Fan Club” since 2020.

But that’s not all!

On the day she announced the album, Taylor also shared a series of lyrics (well, they ~seem~ like lyrics) to her IG from “The Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department”.

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,
The Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department

I wish my handwriting looked like that. (Image: Instagram / @taylorswift13)

Beautiful, no? Now, I’m no tortured poet but I think this is referencing how Taylor has become known for writing about her adventures of love and loss. And this time, she’s ready to speak her truth about her last “muse” — AKA Joe — and isn’t going to feel bad about it. Also all of the war references give me the impression that girlypop is about to go IN.

Well, that’s what I reckon, anyway.

During Taylor’s Australian Eras Tour gig in Melbourne, she revealed that there was a bonus track called “The Bolter”. Immediately, fans connected the dots between the bonus track name and this one clip of her and Joe running away from the paparazzi into a car.

I mean, to me that’s a stretch, but pop off!!!!

At the Sydney show, Taylor revealed the name of another bonus tune: “The Albatross”.

Of course, fans took this to be another easter egg about Joe thanks to the saying “albatross around your neck”.

To add to the speculation, Taylor released a bunch of playlists in the lead-up to her album drop. Each playlist centres around the stages of heartbreak — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance — featuring a bunch of songs from her discography grouped by theme.

The best bit is that each playlist kicks off with a voice note from the pop princess herself. We compiled everything she said in those juicy little voice notes but in summary, fans reckon those voice notes are stacked with shade towards Joe.

Here’s one example on a playlist entitled, “I Love You, It’s Ruining My Life”.

“Hey Apple Music, welcome to my I Love You, it’s Ruining My Life playlist,” the voice note begins.

“This is a list of songs about getting so caught up in the idea of something that you have a hard time seeing the red flags, possibly resulting in moments of denial and maybe a little bit of delusion. Results may vary.”

Anyway, in conclusion, I believe that this is a breakup album… but read into this evidence as you will.

How did Taylor Swift announce her new album?

The announcement for The Tortured Poets Department made Swifites around the world lose their collective shit.

Basically, the Eras Tour superstar won the Best Vocal Pop Album Grammy for Midnights and as she got up on stage ready to accept her 13th Grammy win — her lucky number — she announced she would be releasing a new album entitled The Tortured Poet’s Department on April 19.

Taylor Swift
MOTHER!!!!! (Image: Getty)

“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 said with a huge grin on her face.

“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 April 19.”

“It’s called The Tortured Poets Department. I’m gonna go and post the cover right now backstage. Thank you. I love you. Thank you.”

The Tortured Poet’s Department will be Taylor’s 11th studio album, and it’s an absolute wonder how Taylor has any time to actually make another album while she travels around the world performing her three-hour-long Eras Tour shows.

The Tortured Poets Department Songs: How many are there?

Due to some cheeky leaks on TikTok, Taylor announced the full track list a day after announcing the album itself.

I am very stoked to report there are 16 songs on The Tortured Poets Department album, plus one bonus track called “The Manuscript”. That means, if we’re going for an average of four minutes a song, that’s just over an hour of listening. I’ll take that!!!

The full tracklist for The Tortured Poets Department

  • “Fortnight”
  • “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!!!!”
  • “Guilty as Sin?”
  • “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”
  • “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)”
  • “loml”
  • “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart”
  • “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived”
  • “The Alchemy”
  • “Clara Bow”
  • BONUS: “The Manuscript”
Taylor posted this image with the caption “April 19” to announce the tracklist. (Image: Instagram / @Taylorswift13)

What does the TTPD album cover look like?

The album cover for the main release of The Tortured Poets Department is a black and white masterpiece, showing Taylor laying across a bed with her arms wrapped around her body.

But — as the capitalist queen she is — Taylor is also releasing two alternate versions of the album dubbed The Bolter and The Albatross after the two bonus songs that replace “The Manuscript” on these special editions.

On The Bolter‘s cover, Taylor is seen lying in bed looking downcast. The tracklist page says, “You don’t get to tell me about sad” is written over a close-up picture of Taylor’s face, as she runs her fingers through her hair. It’s black and white, just like all the covers in this era.

The Albatross cover shows Taylor in a white shirt standing in front of the ocean. Her hair looks like it’s been tousled by the wind and she looks caught out in a moment. The tracklist picture features text that reads, “Am I allowed to cry?”

All of the beautiful images used in these album covers have been shot by photographer, Beth Garrabrant. She’s the same photographer who shot the 1989 cover for Taylor’s Version.

You can pre-order both of these special editions and the regular one, on Taylor’s website.

Because no stone is ever left unturned by the Swifties, even the font used across these albums has been a point of discussion online. After a lot of debate, it turns out the fonts used across these album covers are Big Caslon designed by Matthew Carter and Nitti Typewriter designed by Pieter van Rosmalen. Nice one!

How long has Taylor been working on TTPD?

When Taylor announced the album, she also revealed that she’s been working on The Tortured Poet’s Department for about two years now. But she gave some more details during an Eras Tour show in Japan where she revealed that she was quietly scribbling away at songs on The Tortured Poets Department when she was on her US tour. Does this woman ever sleep?!?!?!?

“I’ve been working on it for about two years,” she told the crowd.

“I kept working on it throughout the U.S. 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.

“I’ve been working on Tortured Poets since right after I turned in Midnights.”

Queen. (Image: Ashok Kumar / Getty Images)

What does Travis Kelce say about The Tortured Poets Department?

It turns out that Taylor’s tight end boyfriend Travis Kelce was one of the first people to listen to TTPD. During a press evening at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, he told the room how excited he was for her to share her latest album with the world.

“I have heard some of it. It is unbelievable,” Travis said, per Variety.

“I can’t wait for her to shake up the world when it finally drops.” 

He also used the opportunity at the press conference to gush about his missus. We love this energy from the big man.

“She’s unbelievable. She’s rewriting the history books,” he said.

“I told her I need to hold up my end of the bargain and bring home some hardware, too. Taylor has an unbelievable fan base that follows her and supports her throughout her life, and it’s been fun to gather the Swifties and Chiefs Kingdom and open them up to the football world and the sports world.”

Someone tell my partner to step it the FUCK up.

I love love!!!!! (Image: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

How do I buy Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department vinyl?

Just like regular CDs, or even the digital version of the upcoming album, you can buy it directly from Miss Swift herself through her website. That way, you can pre-order it so that you don’t have to camp out at your local record store hoping and praying that it hasn’t sold out within minutes.

And, if you’re a fan of other old-school music mediums, you can even buy a cassette! How fun!

Well, there you have it. If you need me, I’ll be at my desk counting down the days until The Tortured Poets Department is in our earholes!!!