Taylor Swift releases 'The Tortured Poets Department': 6 clues she gave fans about new album

Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated 11th studio album, "The Tortured Poets Department," on Friday.

In typical Swift fashion, the pop star shared clues with her fans in the months leading up to the new album's release date.

"The Tortured Poets Department" followed the release of her re-recordings, "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)" and "1989 (Taylor's Version)," in 2023. Swift also released new music in 2022 with "Midnights."

Here's a look at all the clues Taylor Swift gave fans.

Taylor Swift announces her 11th studio album

Taylor Swift first announced "The Tortured Poets Department" after winning best pop vocal album at the 2024 Grammys on Feb. 4.

"This is my 13th Grammy, which is my lucky number," she told the audience. "I don't know if I've ever told you that." Swift explained that she wanted to celebrate by "telling you a secret that I've been keeping from you for the past two years."

FILE - Taylor Swift attends In Conversation With... Taylor Swift during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Sept. 9, 2022, in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

FILE - Taylor Swift attends In Conversation With... Taylor Swift during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Sept. 9, 2022, in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

"I’ve been working on ‘Tortured Poets’ since right after I turned in ‘Midnights,'" she explained. "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."

Swift added, "And I am so, so excited that soon you’ll get to hear it, and soon we’ll get to experience it together. I'm over the moon about the fact that you guys care about my music. It still blows my mind."

Swift wore a white gown with black gloves to the Grammys, which turned out to be a nod to the theme of her new album. The musician accessorized with a black watch choker with the hands set to midnight.

Track titles hit Taylor Swift's social media

Days after announcing the release of her 11th studio album, Swift shared the track list with eager fans on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter).

"The Tortured Poets Department" features tracks such as "Down Bad," "But Daddy I Love Him," "I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)" and "My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys." 

A cover of the album also showcased the phrase, "I love you, it's ruining my life."

Fans also speculated that the album was about her breakup from Joe Alwyn with the addition of the track titled "So Long, London."

The indie actor, who is from London, previously inspired her song "London Boy" from her "Lover" album. "So Long, London" is also track five on "The Tortured Poets Department." The spot is typically reserved for Swift's most vulnerable and personal song of the album.

Some of Swift's previous track-five songs include "Dear John," "You're On You're Own, Kid" and "tolerate it." 

Taylor Swift shares 4 vinyl versions of ‘TTPD'

The "Reputation" singer gave fans a glimpse at four bonus tracks, each one paired with its own vinyl of "The Tortured Poets Department."

The bonus tracks include "The Manuscript," The Bolter," "The Albatross" and "The Black Dog."

Apple Music shares Taylor Swift-created playlists to match each stage of grief

Throughout the release of the title tracks and album art for "The Tortured Poets Department," fans speculated each version matched up with a stage of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Whether or not Swift intentionally did this is unknown, but she did partner with Apple Music on five playlists, sorting her already released music into each stage.

The names of the playlists were:

  • I Love You, It's Ruining My Life Songs
  • You Don't Get to Tell Me About Sad Songs
  • Am I Allowed to Cry? Songs
  • Old Habits Die Screaming Songs
  • I Can Do It With a Broken Heart Songs

The release of the playlists seemingly confirmed the theory that "The Tortured Poets Department" would focus on themes of grief and loss.

Spotify launches Taylor Swift's library pop-up in Los Angeles

The week of "The Tortured Poets Department" release, Swifties were able to visit a pop-up installation at The Grove in Los Angeles. The library showcased clues about the upcoming album, including lyrics.

The lyrics "One less temptress. One less dagger to sharpen" and "Even statues crumble if they’re made to wait" were written on pages of a book featured in the pop-up.

Fans speculated the library card catalog with 72 boxes symbolized Swift's relationship with Alwyn, as 72 months would equal six years. The two were together for six years before calling it quits sometime in early 2023.

A timetable of ‘The Tortured Poets Department' reveals a music video release

Following the library pop-up, Swift also gave fans a timetable for "The Tortured Poets Department" release day.

While fans were able to listen to the album beginning at midnight Friday, a music video accompanying a song drops at 8 p.m. ET.

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