Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’: Tracklist, Lyrics and More to Know About the Album

With less than a week to go until the release of Taylor Swift’s new album The Tortured Poets Department, the singer has already spilled plenty of tea about what fans can expect. From the release date to the tracklist, different album variants and more, there’s a lot to uncover about the anticipated record. Plus, Taylor has even started sharing lyrics from the LP!

What Is the Release Date for Taylor Swift’s 2024 Album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’?

The Tortured Poets Department will be released on Friday, April 19, 2024.

Taylor announced the record after winning Best Pop Vocal Album for her 2022 album, Midnights, at the Grammys. “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,” the pop star said. “Which is that my brand new album comes out 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!”

She kept her promise by sharing the album cover, which featured her modeling a sheer top and high-waisted shorts and lounging on a bed. “All’s fair in love and poetry,” she captioned the shot. “New album THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT. Out April 19.”

taylor swift the tortured poets department

The announcement was especially shocking, as fans were convinced that Taylor would actually be revealing the release date for her rerecorded album Reputation (Taylor’s Version) at the show. Just hours before the Grammys, Taylor changed all of her social media profile pictures to be black and white, which are the colors of the original Reputation album. Well, it turns out that The Tortured Poets Department also has a black and white theme!

What Is the Tracklist for Taylor Swift’s 2024 Album ‘The Tortured Poets Department?’

Taylor confirmed the tracklist for The Tortured Poets Department on February 5, 2024. The back cover of the album features the titles of the songs, as well as the quote, “I love you, it’s ruining my life.”

1. Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)
2. The Tortured Poets Department
3. My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys
4. Down Bad
5. So Long, London
6. But Daddy I Love Him
7. Fresh Out the Slammer
8. Florida!!! (feat. Florence and the Machine)
9. Guilty as Sin
10. Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?
11. I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)
12. Loml
13. I Can Do It With a Broken Heart
14. The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived
15. The Alchemy
16. Clara Bow
17. Bonus Track: The Manuscript

Eleven days later, Taylor revealed that there would also be a second edition of The Tortured Poets Department with another bonus track called “The Bolter.” The new edition included a different album cover, which showed Taylor’s face as she lounged in bed on her stomach. There was also a second quote on the back cover that said, “You don’t get to tell me about sad.”

A third variant was revealed on February 23, 2024, during Taylor’s Eras tour show in Sydney, Australia. This one featured a bonus track called “The Albatross,” and the back cover had another gut-wrenching quote: “Am I allowed to cry?”

While performing in Singapore on March 3, 2024, Taylor announced the fourth and final variant for TTPD. The last version will have a bonus track called “The Black Dog.” The back cover had another quote, which read, “Old habits die screaming.” The cover image featured Taylor running her hands through her hair with her eyes closed.

Fans were shocked to hear that the album had been something that Taylor was keeping a secret for two years, meaning she was planning it since the beginning of 2022. Considering Midnights came out in October 2022, the timeline had fans questioning where the “Karma” singer got the inspiration for album No. 11.

The timing also seemingly hinted that none of the songs would be about Travis Kelce, whom Taylor didn’t start dating until the summer of 2023.

Meanwhile, the superstar ended her relationship with Joe Alwyn at the beginning of 2023. However, she appeared to previously reveal that their troubles started long before that with the release of “You’re Losing Me” in May 2023. The song’s producer, Jack Antonoff, later shared that the emotional breakup song was actually written in December 2021. Based on the song titles of TTPD, fans are speculating that the album is a record about her split from Joe.

When Taylor discussed the album at her February 16, 2024, concert, she further hinted that writing TTPD helped her get through a very difficult time. “I’ve never had an album where I needed songwriting more than I needed it for this album,” she told the crowd.

‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Lyrics

In celebration of the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, Taylor surprised fans by sharing the first lyrics from The Tortured Poets Department, which had an eclipse theme.

“Crowd goes wild at her fingertips/ Half moonshine, full eclipse,” a typewriter wrote in a clip on the pop star’s Instagram Story.

taylor swift the tortured poets department what to know

Of course, fans immediately got to work analyzing the lyrics. Some speculated that it was about Taylor’s romance with Joe, once golden like the sun, suddenly turning dark like an eclipse. Others believed that the “crowd goes wild at her fingertips” line referenced the power Taylor herself has at her own fingertips with songwriting. With just days to go until the album’s release, it was the perfect teaser to hold fans over.

Another lyric reveal was shared on April 14, 2024. While promoting the Target edition of the TTPD vinyl, Taylor dropped the cryptic quote, “I wish I could un-recall how we almost had it all.” This once again hinted at the breakup theme of the record and fans were quick to point out the heartbreaking nature of the lyric.

What Is Taylor Swift’s 2024 Album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’?

Along with her Instagram announcement of the new album, Taylor also gave some insight into what we can expect from the record.

“And so I enter into evidence, the tarnished coat of arms,” she wrote. “My muses, acquired like bruises, my talisman and charms, the tick, tick of love bombs, my veins of pitch black ink.”

She also referred to herself as “The Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department” in the message.

As the album release date got closer, Taylor hinted that the record would take fans through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. On April 5, 2024, she released five specially-curated playlists on Apple Music to “prepare” fans for the release of TTPD. Each playlist represented one of the stages of grief and included past songs from Taylor’s catalog. 

Some of the song choices shocked fans, including the inclusion of 2019’s “Lover” on the denial playlist. While this track was initially thought of as Taylor’s ultimate love song to Joe, the placement hinted that she realized she was kidding herself when she penned the lyrics.

The playlists also included songs that Taylor and Joe had collaborated on together, including “Betty” and “Sweet Nothing” on the denial playlist. “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,” the pop star shared.

Of the anger playlist, which featured tracks like “Exile,” cowritten by Joe, as well as “Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve” and more, Taylor said, “Over the years, I’ve learned that anger can manifest itself in a lot of different ways, but the healthiest way that it manifests itself in my life is when I can write a song about it and then, oftentimes, that helps me get past it.”

While discussing the bargaining playlist, Taylor explained, “You’re trying to make things better. You’re oftentimes feeling really desperate because oftentimes we have a gut intuition that tells us things are not going to go the way that we hope, which makes us more desperate which makes us bargain more.” This playlist included songs like “Cornelia Street” and “This Is Me Trying.”

The depression playlist featured songs that Taylor said she wrote while feeling “lonely or hopeless” and needing to “process” the emotions. “While these things are really, really hard to go through, I often feel like when I’m either listening to songs or writing songs that deal with this intensity of loss and helplessness, usually that’s in the phase where I’m close to getting past that feeling.” This playlist notably included the song “You’re Losing Me,” which was seemingly written about the end of Taylor and Joe’s romance.

Acceptance’s playlist featured tracks like “August” and “Happiness,” as Taylor explained, “These songs represent making room for more good in your life. Making that choice because a lot of times, when we lose things, we gain things too.”

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