What we know about ‘The Tortured Poets Department,’ according to Taylor Swift

What we know about ‘The Tortured Poets Department,’ according to Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift, the self-proclaimed “Chairman of the Tormented Poets Department,” will soon hold a meeting where she will release her latest album.

For the most part, Swift has kept many details about the album close to her chest, but despite her vagueness when it comes to launching her 11th studio album, there are still a few things we can glean about “The Tortured Poets Department” from Swift herself.

Let’s start with what we know for sure: “Department of Tormented Poets” is out Friday at midnight Eastern, or Thursday at 9 p.m. if you’re on the West Coast, and the first music video — a song that’s still a mystery — will be released Friday at 8 p.m. EDT after the album is released.

The album includes 16 tracks and a bonus track titled “The Manuscript,” and features collaborations with Post Malone on the track “Fortnight” and with Florence + The Machine on the track “Florida!!!”

Three vinyl variants will also be available for purchase, each featuring a different bonus track: “The Bolter,” “The Albatross,” “The Black Dog.”

When Swift first announced the album in February while accepting the Grammy award for best pop vocal album for 2022’s “Midnights,” she revealed that she had kept the album a secret for the past two years.

A few days later during her “Eras Tour” concert in Tokyo, Swift told her audience that she started working on “Tortured Poet” right after she finished “Midnights.”

“I keep working on it throughout the US tour and when it’s perfect, in my opinion, when it’s good enough for you, I finish it,” he said at the time, according to footage from the show posted to social media.

The theme
Swift also talked about how much the album meant to her during her “Eras Tour” concert in Melbourne in February, saying “Tortured Poet” was an album that “more than any album I’ve ever made, I had to make it.”

“It’s really a lifeline for me. Just the things that I’m going through, the things that I’m writing about it’s like, it kind of reminds me why songwriting is something that really carries me through my life,” a video posted to social media from the concert. “I’ve never had an album where I needed more songwriting than I did on ‘Tortured Poet.'”

He doesn’t want to reveal anything about what the music actually is, but all signs point to the album being about heartbreak, which can take many forms.

To connect the dots: Earlier this month, Swift created a series of playlists for Apple Music about the five stages of heartbreak. Each playlist includes songs from his music catalog appropriate for each stage: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

The title of each playlist is a lyric previously teased by Swift in various Instagram posts.

With the exception of 2020’s “Folklore,” Swift’s albums are generally autobiographical and her romantic relationships tend to be recurring topics.

Swift doesn’t seem to have any heartbreak in her current relationship with three-time Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce. Before Kelce, Swift dated actor Joe Alwyn and in April 2023, CNN reported that their six-year relationship had ended.

Knowing what Swift shared when she wrote this album, we can all take from it what we will.

With that, the feeling of heartbreak is not only limited to romance. It can really mean anything, so we’ll just leave it blank for that.

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