Everything we know about Taylor Swift’s new album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

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Taylor Swift made history last night at the Grammys by winning Album of the Year for ‘Midnights’, breaking the record for most wins in the category with four.

The 34-year-old singer surpasses Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, who had three apiece.

However, despite this achievement, the big news for Swifties came earlier in the night when TayTay used her 13th Grammy win to announce her new album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’.

“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 April 19,” she said. “It’s called ‘The Tortured Poets Department.’ I’m gonna go and post the cover right now backstage.”

Cue: Collective Swiftie meltdown and much dry heaving.

Taylor Swift at last night’s Grammy Awards

Here’s everything we know about Swift’s forthcoming 11th studio album (not counting her re-recordings).

What’s in a name?

Swift revealed that her new album will be titled ‘The Tortured Poets Department’, which sounds appropriately lyrical and tormented, but uncharacteristically wordy, as Swift tends to prefer one or two-word album titles.

Could we have seen this coming?

No. Taylor doesn’t answer our phone calls. Which makes us sad.

Before the ceremony, there had been speculation that Swift would use an acceptance speech to announce a re-recording of her album ‘Reputation’, continuing her project of re-releasing her past albums in order to regain control of the masters.

Swift’s website also went down just shortly before the Grammys ceremony, with a mysterious error code that included the text hneriergrd, which fans deciphered to mean “red herring.”

She’s toying with us.

What’s the cover like?

Directly after her Grammys speech, Swift shared the cover art for the album, which showcases a a black-and-white image of her reclining across some comfy looking pillows. The top half of her face is cut off in the low-contrast image. 

Check it out for yourself:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift)

It’s giving off sensual, ‘Folklore’-ish vibes, with a soupcon of Madonna’s ‘Bedtime Stories’.

Madonna – 1994

Any more clues?

Some handwritten lyrics were also posted after the album cover, which seem to be a prologue of sorts based on unreleased lyrics.

They read:

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.

She ends the note by decreeing: 

All’s fair in love and poetry…

Before signing off with: 

Sincerely, The Chairman of The Tortured Poets Department.

What does it all mean?

Dead Poets Society

As you can imagine, fans are already dissecting the album announcement for Easter eggs.

The title conjures up images of “Little Women” meets Donna Tartt meets Dead Poets Society.

And it’s worth noting that Peter Weir’s classic film was released in 1989 – famously the same year Swift was born, hence the title of her 2014 fifth studio album, which celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year.

Coincidence?

There’s also the rumour that the title could be a sly reference to Swift’s ex-boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, as the actor previously said he was in a group chat with Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott called “Tortured Man Club.”

Beyond that, your guess is as good as ours.

There’s even a logo?

Yep. 

When’s it out?

It is slated to drop on 19 April.

The release comes smack bang in the middle of Swift’s Eras Tour, where she takes fans through her extensive music catalog. It’s unclear how Swift’s new album will affect future setlists.

What will the album sound like?

How long is a piece of string? Come back to us in April.

How many songs will the album have?

According to Swift’s website, the new album will feature 16 songs including one bonus track titled ‘The Manuscript’. No tracklist has yet been unveiled.

She toying with us

It’s already breaking records, isn’t it?

Yep.

Shortly after announcing the album on her socials, Swift made the album available for preorder on her website. There will be several versions of the album available for purchase, including a CD, cassette, vinyl and digital album.

Apparently, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ vinyl has surpassed the entire first hour pre-order of her previous album ‘Midnights’ (all formats) in less than 25 minutes.

Is anyone feeling a bit bad for the other Grammy winners?

A smidge.

It was a banner ceremony and a great night for female performers. However, all anyone can talk about this morning is Swift’s new album.

We’re excited to hear it, but can’t help but feel like the big announcement has eclipsed the achievements of the other winners. Maybe announcing the new album during the ceremony stole some thunder…

Check out our Key Takeaways article on last night’s Grammy winners.

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