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Taylor Swift releases ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ double album ahead of Record Store Day: Highlights

Swift also teased the first music video, for "Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)," which drops tonight.
Photo Illustration: Taylor Swift
 Taylor Swift mania continues tonight with her latest album release. Justine Goode / Getty Images

Catch up on all things 'The Tortured Poets Department':

  • Fans celebrated Swift's midnight release of "The Tortured Poets Department" with listening parties and themed gatherings. Many critics praised Swift in their reviews.
  • Swift surprised fans at 2 a.m. ET with news of 15 extra songs.
  • The album features collaborations with Post Malone and Florence + the Machine. Swift described writing the album as deeply personal. "Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it," she said.
  • NBC News' resident Swifties stayed up to blog the biggest takeaways after the album's release.

Vinyl industry rep says pandemic-era manufacturing bottlenecks have eased

"The Tortured Poets Department" is set to be released in special-edition "ghost"-colored vinyl, available both directly through Swift's website and exclusively at Target.

During the pandemic, that might have alarmed vinyl record buyers. As vinyl plants shuttered and employees were sidelined, vinyl production ground to a halt, causing reports of weekslong backlogs and orders going unfulfilled outright.

But in an interview with NBC News on Friday, Dustin Blocker, president of the Vinyl Records Manufacturing Association, said those issues have been resolved and that suppliers now have more than enough capacity to handle any orders coming their way, including massive ones like Swift's.

"In Q3 2023, we saw the [production] timeline start to go back to normal," Blocker said. "And in Q4 it really got back to normal. Now, everyone, including the huge plants, takes only 8-12 weeks [to produce] ... so it's very good news for everyone."

Blocker said any price increases on the supply side sparked by the bottlenecks have essentially reversed.

So, the $40 price tag on the Target edition of "TTPD" is most likely the result of choices made by Swift, her label and the retailer, he said.

Jack Antonoff is sharing BTS pics

Jack Antonoff is giving Swifties what they want: more content.

The Bleachers frontman, who is also Swift’s longtime collaborator and friend, shared pictures of Swift and collaborators on the album, including Florence Welch.

The acting U.S. secretary of labor has a question for Taylor

Acting U.S. Labor Department Secretary Julie Su has a key question for Taylor Swift and her "Tortured Poets Department":

"Is this department unionized?" she wrote in a post on X.

Su, 55, has served as acting secretary since March 2023; she has faced stumbling blocks to being confirmed full time for the role over her perceived pro-union bias.

Destin celebrates Swift shoutout

Nicole Duarte

The city of Destin, Florida, is here for the Swiftie boost.

Google searches for the beach town shot up minutes after Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” was released. The album mentions Destin in the song “Florida!!!” featuring Florence + The Machine.

The city is celebrating the shoutout:

As is Destin's mayor:

Trump gets a question on Taylor

A reporter who is part of the pool following Donald Trump on Friday at his hush money trial was able to get in a question to the former president about the new albums.

Trump didn't engage.

Taylor Swift reveals ‘Dateline’ as an inspiration for ‘Florida!!!’

Maddie Ellis, TODAY

Taylor Swift has taken over radio stations, from Channel 13 on SiriusXM to iHeartRadio briefly renaming itself to iHeartTaylor and sharing messages from the songwriter.

Swift revealed in a soundbite played on iHeartRadio that “Florida!!!” — the eighth track of the album and featuring Florence + the Machine — was inspired by “Dateline.”

“I’m always watching, like ‘Dateline,’” Swift said with a laugh. “People, you know, have these crimes that they commit where they immediately skip town and go to Florida. They try to reinvent themselves, have a new identity, blend in.”

It’s the same with heartbreak, she said.

“I think when you go through a heartbreak, there’s a part of you that thinks, ‘I want a new name. I want a new life,’” she said.

Or perhaps in Swift’s case — a new era?


The double album appeared to avoid leaks

Kaetlyn Liddy

The standard edition of "The Tortured Poets Department" is said to have been leaked ahead the album's release. The origin of the apparent leaks is unclear, but none of the songs on the extended "anthology" version of the album seem to have been compromised.

Leaks of major artists' work sometimes occur when physical copies of the album arrive prematurely at record stores or department stores, before the tracks are released on streaming platforms. Fans suspect the surprise drop of the double album was a factor in the 15 extra tracks avoiding leaks.

The extra content was so unexpected that the lyrics of the anthology version have yet to be uploaded to Spotify.

‘The Tortured Poets Department’ broke a Spotify record in 12 hours

Kaetlyn Liddy

"The Tortured Poets Department" is already Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day this year, edging out Beyoncé's "Cowboy Carter" in less than 12 hours, Spotify confirmed to NBC News.

Swift currently holds the all-time record for most streams in a day by album and by artist for 2022's "Midnights."

Who are The Blue Nile? About the Scottish band named by Swift

Kaetlyn Liddy

In the album's ninth track — "Guilty as Sin?" — Swift name-drops a beloved '80s Scottish band, The Blue Nile.

"Drowning in The Blue Nile. He sent me 'Downtown Lights.' I hadn’t heard it in a while," Swift says in the song.

"Downtown Lights," released in 1989, was the peak of The Blue Nile's commercial success in the U.S., with the song reaching No. 10 on the Billboard American Modern Rock Tracks chart. 1989 is also Swift's birth year and the title of her fifth studio album.

Known for their avoidance of publicity, The Blue Nile has released just four albums since forming in 1981.

Fans share their theories and joy on social media

Kaetlyn Liddy

It wouldn't be a new Taylor Swift album without fans wondering who it's about or decoding the names mentioned in each song. (Who is Cassandra, Taylor?)

That speculation will surely continue, but now that the album is out, fans can't believe their luck. Reactions on social media praised the sonic and lyrical range of the album, saying that "everybody gets everything," whether you listen to Swift for her synth-pop hits or her intimate folk songs.

Author and creator John Green couldn't wait to wake up his daughter to tell her she gets 31 new Taylor Swift songs today.

By the numbers: Will Taylor Swift break her own album sales marks?

“The Tortured Poets Department” blasted to No. 1 on the U.S. iTunes album sales chart following its release. But will it live up to the success of her previous discography?

Here are all of Swift’s bestselling albums in the U.S. ranked to date, according to data from the Recording Industry Association of America.

“Fearless” (2008): 10 million units

“1989” (2014): 9 million units

“Red” (2012): 7 million units

“Taylor Swift” (2006): 7 million units

“Speak Now” (2010): 6 million units

“Reputation” (2017): 3 million units

“Lover” (2019): 3 million units

“Midnights” (2022): 2 million units

“Folklore” (2020): 2 million units

“The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection” (2008): 1 million units

“Evermore” (2020): 1 million units

TikTok rolls out new features to celebrate new album

As Swifties show their love for "The Tortured Poets Department" on TikTok, they have the chance to be featured in a "Fan Spotlight" carousel that highlights videos with the #TORTUREDPOETSDEPARTMENT hashtag.

TikTok released a "Taylor Swift In-App Experience" that serves as a landing page for all things "TTPD." Fans can complete challenges in exchange for limited-edition "TTPD" profile frames and some Taylor-related searches unlock animations inspired by the album. Searches for "Taylor Swift," "Taylor Nation," and "The Tortured Poets Department" lead fans to the landing page.

The features are particularly notable because Swift's music was pulled off the platform earlier this year as part of a disput between TikTok and Universal Music Group, though many of her tracks returned earlier this month.

Fans on TikTok have already been loving "TTPD," sharing numerous theories, tears and rankings.

Swift's song 'Fortnight' with Post Malone hits No. 1 on Apple

That didn't take long.

The song "Fornight" off Swift's new album quickly hit No. 1 on Apple's top song chart. It features rapper and singer Post Malone.

Swift also took the next four spots with "The Tortured Poets Department," "So Long, London," "My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toy," and "Down Bad."

The National's Aaron Dessner on working with Swift: 'some of the most lyrically acute, intricate, vulnerable and cathartic' songs

Aaron Dessner, a musician who is part of the rock band The National, posted to Instagram about working with Swift on the album along with a pic of her in a studio.

He said that he has now worked with swift on more than 60 songs, including 17 across her newest release.

"I am forever grateful to Taylor for sharing her insane talents with and trusting me with her music. I believe these songs are some of the most lyrically acute, intricate, vulnerable and cathartic Taylor has ever written and I am continually astonished by her skills as a songwriter and performer," he wrote, adding in thanks to a long list of other artists and producers.

Will Swift break her own streaming records?

Kaetlyn Liddy

The October 2022 release of Swift's 10th studio album, "Midnights" shattered records on Spotify and Apple Music.

"Midnights" became Spotify's most-streamed album in a single day with 184.6 million streams when it debuted. Swift also broke the record for most-streamed artist in a single day on Spotify with 228 million streams.

The album also become the biggest album of all time by a female artist in Apple Music history by first-day and first-week streams worldwide.

Can Swift outdo herself?

Will Swift's album inspire a new college course?

Kaetlyn Liddy

Kaetlyn Liddy and Saba Hamedy
Illustration of Taylor Swift performing wearing a graduation cap and a diploma as a microphone.
Alicia Tatone for NBC News

As Swift became increasingly synonymous with American pop culture, universities around the country started creating entire courses dedicated to studying her lyricism and impact.

Some courses focus on Swift as a business and marketing mastermind, while others analyze her storytelling techniques with all the detail and skill of poetry analysis.

Time will tell whether this new album will inspire yet another college course. Our guess is with all the literary references, it's sure to be on some professors minds.

Read more in NBC News' article here.

Saturday is Record Store Day

Kaetlyn Liddy

The release of "The Tortured Poets Department" will come just in time for a notable day in the music industry calendar: Record Store Day on April 20. The annual event has been observed since 2007 to celebrate independent record stores and is often accompanied by exclusive drops by major artists.

Swift has yet to announce a special event, but the date is marked in the TTPD Timetable on her Instagram, suggesting she might have something up her sleeve.

Swift describes new album: 'Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it.'

Taylor Swift has offered fans a glimpse into the creative process behind "The Tortured Poets Society" and the emotions that inspired it.

In a press release Friday morning to accompany the new release, the artist said:

"The Tortured Poets Department. An anthology of new works that reflect events, opinions and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time — one that was both sensational and sorrowful in equal measure.

"This period of the author’s life is now over, the chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed. And upon further reflection, a good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted.

"This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page. Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it.

"And then all that’s left behind is the tortured poetry."

To sleep or stream? Swifties question staying up even later

Can you wait until the morning to listen to the 15 extra songs on Swift's anthology?

If you answered no, you're not alone. Online, fans joked that they didn't expect to get this little shut eye.

Among the fans: Gen Z Rep. Maxwell Frost, D-Fla.

"I got votes in the morning. Do I sleep or listen" he wrote.

Others had similar thoughts.

"TAYLOR I HAVE A JOB OH MY GOD" wrote one fan, tagging the artist on X.

"lol Taylor I have to get up early to run errands before work please" wrote another X user.

Leave it to Swift to give us adrenaline to keep us all up a little longer.

'The Tortured Poets Department' becomes Swift's longest album

Kaetlyn Liddy

With the surprise release of 15 additional songs, "The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology" has 31 tracks.

That now makes it Swift's longest album, edging ahead of "Red (Taylor's Version)" by just one track.

A list of all 15 of the extra 'Anthology' songs

Kaetlyn Liddy

  1. “The Black Dog”
  2. “imgonnagetyouback”
  3. “The Albatross”
  4. “Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus”
  5. “How Did It End?”
  6. “So High School”
  7. “I Hate It Here”
  8. “thanK you aiMee”
  9. “I Look in People’s Windows”
  10. “The Prophecy”
  11. “Cassandra”
  12. “Peter”
  13. “The Bolter”
  14. “Robin”
  15. “The Manuscript”

Surprise: a double album!

Kaetlyn Liddy

"The Tortured Poets Department" is a secret DOUBLE album.

In a 2 a.m. ET surprise, Swift announced an extra 15 songs.

"I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second installment of TTPD: The Anthology," she wrote on X. "15 extra songs. And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours."

It's 2 a.m.

Kaetlyn Liddy

Now what, Taylor?

ICYMI: Swift's powerhouse publicist Tree Paine gets profiled by WSJ

Swift's longtime publicist, Tree Paine, whom many fans know by name, was the subject of a lengthy Wall Street Journal article published Thursday ahead of the new album's release.

While she declined to be interviewed for the story, it delves into how she became one of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry since she joined Swift's camp in 2014.

“There isn’t a publicist in NY, LA or Nashville that wouldn’t jump at an opportunity to work with someone as talented as Taylor Swift and her management team,” Paine said at the time, according to the New York Post.

Read the full story here.

Couples are now wary of Swift's 'Lover' as a love song

Elena Nicolaou, TODAY

“Lover” — at least until recently — was widely received as one of Swift’s classic love songs. When the album of the same name came out in 2019, its title single was declared first dance song material, or even a “wedding waltz.”

In the song, Swift paints a portrait of quiet intimacy. Her wild “Red” days, of thrilling romances with highs and lows and uncertainties in between, had settled into something steadier with one person, captured by a simple chorus: “You’re my, my, my, my lover.”

But that interpretation is now in question, as Swift recasts some of her songs in a different light. Ahead of the release of “The Tortured Poets Department,” she released five playlists on Apple Music, sorting old songs into groups inspired by the five stages of grief, or “heartbreak.”

Read the full story here.

Aaron Dessner is credited as a songwriter on five of 16 tracks

Kaetlyn Liddy

Dessner, who is a member of the bands The National and Big Red Machine, is one of two producers who worked on "The Tortured Poets Department."

He's credited as a songwriter on five of the 16 tracks on the standard album.

Dessner first collaborated with Swift on her eighth studio album, “Folklore,” for which he shared in the Grammy win for album of the year. He made several guest appearances with Swift on the U.S. leg of the Eras Tour, joining her onstage during the acoustic set for performances of songs they wrote together.

Here's what some critics are saying in their reviews

The critics have spoken. Here's a roundup of some of their takeaways on "The Tortured Poets Department."

Billboard’s Jason Lipshutz praised Swift’s boldness for releasing a “knowingly messy, wildly unguarded breakup album” at what’s arguably the peak of her career. It's more mature than her past heartbreak albums, he writes, and “not everyone will love it, but the ones who get it will adore it fiercely.”

Variety’s Chris Willman wrote that the album can serve as an “unapologetically dramatic” soundtrack to listeners’ own heartbreaks.

Labeling it Swift’s most personal album yet, Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield described it as “the cathartic confession of a woman who thought she had adulthood — and adult romance — all figured out, only to find herself realizing she knows nothing.”

And unlike on past albums, Swift doesn’t portray herself as a victim in this one, wrote the Los Angeles Times’ Mikael Wood. Instead, the album emanates “a proudly villainous energy as Swift embraces her messiest and most chaotic tendencies.”

Jack Antonoff, Swift's longtime collaborator, posts love for album

Kaetlyn Liddy

Antonoff, Swift’s longtime collaborator and friend, shared his love for the new album on X.

"Love this album more than I can say," wrote Antonoff, who worked on “The Tortured Poets Department” as a producer.

Antonoff also co-wrote eight of the album's tracks.

Swifties are starting to post reax on X

In typical fashion after a Swift album drops, reactions from fans are pouring in online, and they TEND TO COME IN ALL CAPS.

As any Swiftie will tell you, listening to new music from the artist always proves to be a collective emotional experience.

Spotify appears to be holding it together (so far)

Kaetlyn Liddy

The last time Swift debuted a brand-new album, Spotify crashed. No major issues so far this time around.

Shoutout to the engineers and people behind the scenes who are probably working overtime to make sure Swifties don't panic.

We have a new countdown

Kaetlyn Liddy

Don’t go to bed yet! Taylor Swift’s Instagram page is displaying a new countdown to 2 a.m. ET. This wasn't on the timetable ...

A countdown on Taylor Swift's Instagram page.
A countdown on Taylor Swift's Instagram page.

Swift releases statement after album drop

In her first social media post after “The Tortured Poets Department” was released, Swift shared a statement about the album online.

These songs reflect her experiences from a moment in time that was equally “sensational and sorrowful,” she wrote, adding that it is a chapter now closed.

“Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it,” Swift wrote. “And then all that’s left behind is the tortured poetry.”

Who is Clara Bow?

The 16th and final track on the album is named for Clara Bow, one of the leading lights of Hollywood’s silent era.

Bow, unlike a lot of stars from the 1920s, managed to successfully pivot to roles in talkies by the end of the decade. She co-starred in “Wings” (1927), which today is probably best known as the first movie to win the Oscar for best picture.

I’m not a Swiftie, so I don’t have much insight into how Taylor’s music connects to Bow’s acting career — but I’m curious how this track will be interpreted by the die-hards.

The album is here

BRB, we’re busy listening with the rest of y’all.

You can now choose a Swift-themed chat for your Instagram DMs

Instagram users can now set their direct message conversations to a new chat theme inspired by “The Tortured Poets Department.”

Instagram has added “The Tortured Poets Department” as a chat theme.
Instagram has added “The Tortured Poets Department” as a chat theme.Angela Yang / NBC News

Bars, venues hold special Swift parties

On the eve of Swift’s album drop, event venues across the country (and around the world) hosted release parties so Swifties could get their first listen of the “The Tortured Poets Department” on the dance floor.

At Pianos in New York, music from across Swift’s discography will play until the new album drops at midnight. Attendees are encouraged to come in themed outfits and friendship bracelets, and the bar will be serving Swift-inspired cocktails.

In Los Angeles, El Cid is hosting a listening party complete with fan-made merch, giveaways and a themed wall for photos. Attendees can also expect performances from drag queen Jade Jolie, who appeared in Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” music video.

Several Swiftie-themed events are also being held across the Washington, D.C., area, according to The Washington Post, which compiled a list.

A Swiftie mom and daughter are hosting their own album party

Kristie Gilmore, 36, is ready to celebrate with her daughter, who was born shortly after Swift's “1989” album and has been a Swiftie ever since.

Kristie Gilmore is hosting a TTPD party in the suburbs of Boston.
Kristie Gilmore is hosting a TTPD party in the suburbs of Boston.Courtesy Kristie Gilmore

Gilmore decorated her Boston-area apartment with balloons, signs and stickers in the color palette of “The Tortured Poets Department.” She sprinkled the table with handmade confetti of the album’s logo and made TTPD-themed “membership cards” for themselves and each of her daughter’s friends.

“They’ve been counting down since Taylor announced this album,” Gilmore said, adding, “They’re just hanging out, having a dance party. They’re gonna try to stay up till midnight and listen to it.”

What are the track lengths?

Kaetlyn Liddy

The average track length on “The Tortured Poets Department” is 4 minutes and 4 seconds, making it the third longest album across Swift’s discography.

The longest song is “But Daddy I Love Him,” which clocks in at 5 minutes and 40 seconds.

“I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)” is the shortest song, at 2 minutes and 36 seconds.

Travis Kelce shared his early thoughts about the album

Ahead of the Super Bowl, Swift's boyfriend, Travis Kelce, the star tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, weighed in on the new album.

“I have heard some of it, yes. It is unbelievable,” Kelce said. “I can’t wait for her to shake up the world when it finally drops.”

The couple, who have become the internet's favorite love story, were most recently spotted at Coachella's first weekend.

Taylor Swift beat reporter speaks to NBC's Hallie Jackson

NBC News

USA Today’s Taylor Swift reporter, Bryan West, spoke with NBC News about the album drop and all the Easter eggs being spotted by fans.

Swift's music is back on TikTok despite UMG dispute

Some songs that Swift fans know “All Too Well” returned to TikTok this month, months after they were removed.

The songs were among the many tracks Universal Music Group pulled off TikTok after the label and the platform failed to reach an agreement this year. (UMG has no relationship to NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)

UMG, known as one of the “Big Three” global music companies, cleared its music from TikTok in late January, saying it was doing so because of a lack of compensation for artists and songwriters. TikTok previously fired back at UMG, accusing the company of putting “their own greed above the interests of artists and songwriters.”

Read the full story here.

The economics of 'The Tortured Poets Department'

Die-hard Taylor Swift fans will be spending a pretty penny on her latest album release as she releases four variants of the album with one exclusive track each.

Each variant of “The Tortured Poets Department” is named after the bonus song found at the end of the album: “The Manuscript,” “The Bolter,” “The Albatross” and “The Black Dog.” If a fan wanted to collect them all, the minimum for $13.99 CDs at a store would cost at least $55.96 before taxes.

Longtime Swifties are already familiar with her tendency to provide deluxe editions, as anyone who was around for her original “1989” release can recall the Target exclusive that included three bonus tracks and three voice memos recorded by Swift. 

Her “Midnights” release included a Target exclusive track that was added to streaming only months later, and in May she released a new song on “Midnights (The Late Night Edition).” But this is the first time Swift has put an exclusive song on each individual variant, with no clear timeline for when they might be added to streaming. 

2024: The year of Post Malone and the pop girlies

portrait face tattoos
Post Malone in Austin, Texas, on March 8.Greg Doherty / Getty Images for Amazon MGM Studios file

Fresh off of a collab with Beyoncé on "LEVII'S JEANS" from her now-famed "Cowboy Carter," Post Malone finds himself on another major release of 2024: Swift's "The Tortured Poets Department."

He joins Swift on the album's first song, "Fortnight." Swift announced that "Fortnight" would be the album's lead single and the song for which she is releasing a music video 8 o'clock tomorrow night.

"I’ve been such a huge fan of Post because of the writer he is, his musical experimentation and those melodies he creates that just stick in your head forever," Swift wrote on social media. "I got to witness that magic come to life firsthand when we worked together on Fortnight."

While best known for more rap-focused songs, Post Malone is clearly making the rounds in the pop music scene, having also recently collaborated with Noah Kahan on "Dial Drunk." But his back-to-back appearances on arguably two of the biggest albums from pop artists this year raise the questions: Is Post Malone becoming a pop girlie? Is he just having a moment? Or is it all of the above?

There's a book about Swift's impact headed to bookshelves


Rolling Stone writer and music historian Rob Sheffield's book "Heartbreak Is the National Anthem: How Taylor Swift Reinvented Pop Music" will debut Nov. 12.

He's expected to dive further into Swift’s music and fan connection.

Swifties are celebrating with their own listening parties

Many Swifties are sharing their elaborate party setups online as they prepare to celebrate the album release at home.

Karen Rothdeutsch, 25, has decked out her bedroom in upstate New York with “The Tortured Poets Department”-themed decorations, complete with a platter of homemade cupcakes decorated to match Swift’s various vinyl variants.

swiftie party
Karen Rothdeutsch is ready for her solo listening party in Hopewell Junction, New York.Courtesy Karen Rothdeutsch

“I just made my space a little more immersive for my first listen,” Rothdeutsch told NBC News. “I’ll be sitting in my bed with a box of tissues and a notebook, writing down my thoughts and probably checking into Twitter every so often to see what everybody’s thinking about it.”

She said she procured the decorations over the course of several weeks, but the whole setup cost her less than $100. While she decorates on a budget, she said she did splash out on the vinyl variants and collector’s edition CDs.

Swift's new album is already breaking a Spotify record

Spotify said on X that the “The Tortured Poets Department” became the most pre-saved album countdown page in the streaming service’s history.

Since its launch on March 28, TTPD's countdown page has ticked down to the album’s drop, now just hours away.

Was Swift's Grammys dress a 'Fortnight' Easter egg?

Kaetlyn Liddy

The white gown Swift wore to the 2024 Grammys, where she announced "The Tortured Poets Department," appears to have been an Easter egg.

taylor swift full length whote dress red carpet grammys
Taylor Swift at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 4.Axelle / Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic file

Swift appears to be wearing a very similar dress in the teaser for the "Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)" music video, which will debut 8 p.m. ET tomorrow.

Swift was also pictured hugging Post Malone at the ceremony. Some fans online pointed out a similar shot of the two singers that appears in the teaser for the music video.

Swift drops 'Fortnight' music video teaser

Kaetlyn Liddy

Swift blessed fans with a teaser for “Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)," the album's first single.

"At this hearing, I stand before my fellow members of The Tortured Poets Department with a summary of my findings. Album tonight. Fortnight music video tomorrow at 8pm et," Swift wrote in a post on X, which was accompanied by a short video clip.

The black-and-white teaser gave a sneak peak of the visuals for the music video. It's a combination of dramatic period gowns and a bleak medical setting in this supercut that is reminiscent of "Poor Things," which Swift's longtime friend Emma Stone recently won the best actress Oscar for.

Swift had announced she'd be dropping a music video at 8 p.m. ET tomorrow by sharing a “TTPD Timetable” on her Instagram page this week.

Merch is here — and already selling out

Hours before the album’s release, themed merchandise for “The Tortured Poets Department” is now available to order online.

The merch drop includes hoodies, crewnecks and gold jewelry branded with the album’s logo. A display case for the album vinyls seemingly sold out within minutes.

ICYMI: The Eras Tour concert film is on Disney+

In case you need something to do as you count down to the new album, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is on Disney+. Swift announced the film would be available for streaming in February.

The film features all songs from the three Los Angeles tour dates during which it was filmed at SoFi Stadium. They include “cardigan,” as well as four additional acoustic surprise songs from the tour: “I Can See You,” “Maroon,” “You Are in Love” and “Death by a Thousand Cuts.”

Swifties online are freaking out over purported ‘leaks’

The internet was at it again this week, with some online circulating what they said were leaks of Swift's new album. It is unclear from where and when the apparent leaks originated, but one Reddit thread is already filled with commentary.

As early as Tuesday, "taylor swift leak" appeared to be blocked from searches on X. Instead, when a user tried to search the phrase, a blank page popped up with the message, "Something went wrong. Try reloading."

The secret message has been decoded

Kaetlyn Liddy

The sixth and final word of the secret message, “mortem,” was revealed today, hidden in the lyrics of the song “Begin Again.”

The complete secret message is: “We hereby conduct this post mortem.”

In a collaboration with Apple Music, Swift sorted some of her existing songs into thematic playlists, along with audio messages from her.

The messages seemed to confirm some fans’ theories that the playlists mirrored the five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance — indicating that the new album may grapple with grief or loss. Swift later used a song from each playlist to reveal a hidden word on Apple Music every day leading up to the release of “The Tortured Poets Department.”

Swift sets fans loose on an international puzzle

Swifties had a big day yesterday after murals with QR codes were unveiled in cities around the world, including Mexico City, Paris and Chicago.

Fans stumbled upon the murals, which Swift had not announced, and scanned them to find a link to a YouTube Shorts video. Every mural had a unique code that led to a different video, each revealing a new letter as part of a word puzzle.

Fans came together online to help decode the puzzle, which seemed to hint at the new album's first track, because it spelled out "for a fortnight."

Swifties in Los Angeles flock to Spotify pop-up library

Kaetlyn Liddy

Many Los Angeles Swifties celebrated the new album with a pop-up library installation in partnership with Spotify.

The three-day event, which runs through today at The Grove, featured a sneak peek at some of the album's lyrics.

Fans posted videos of themselves lined up for hours to get a glimpse at the installation.

A manuscript was front and center at the installation, revealing new lyrics periodically as the pages were turned over the course of three days.

Many fans online tried to identify other potential Easter eggs in the pop-up library, such as a bust of a peace sign, quill and fountain pens and a globe that appeared to be pointing to Florida, the name of a track on the album.

Why is the album called 'The Tortured Poets Department'?

Kaetlyn Liddy

Fans were quick to note that “The Tortured Poets Department” is the longest title for a Taylor Swift album by a large margin, a distinction previously held by her third album, "Speak Now." Before "TTPD," "Speak Now" was her only album title consisting of more than one word.

Speculation surrounding the new album and its uncharacteristic title has primarily revolved around Swift’s 2023 breakup with British actor Joe Alwyn after their six-year relationship.

After the album announcement, a 2022 Variety interview between Alwyn and Paul Mescal resurfaced on X. The pair revealed in the interview that they were both members of a WhatsApp group chat titled the Tortured Man Club, prompting some fans to draw parallels between Alwyn and Swift’s upcoming album.

The true meaning of “The Tortured Poets Department” remains to be seen, but the album's rollout has featured references to famous poems like Charles Baudelaire’s “The Albatross,” among other literary references.

Clues keep coming


Speculation continues to grow over clues for lyrics, song titles and the album’s first music video.

Not much from Miss Swift so far

It's been a notably quiet rollout for "The Tortured Poets Department."

No themed Instagram grid overhaul, no lead singles, not even a cryptic calendar leading Swifties on wild goose chases for potential Easter eggs.

A week before the release, Taylor Swift was rocking out at Coachella instead of feeding her fans who are desperate for a hint of what's to come.

Aside from a hand-painted QR code on the side of a building in Chicago, a planned exhibit at The Grove in Los Angeles in partnership with Spotify and a quick video released Tuesday that appears to leave the "Midnights" era in the dust as viewers tour The Tortured Poets Department, Swift has been silent on what we can expect.

In the video, posted to her Instagram account, we did get a glimpse of a schedule that only showed release day, and on it, the promise of a music video on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. Fourteen tick marks beneath led some to think the music video could be for the 14th track on the album, or for the leading song, "Fortnight," since a fortnight is 14 days.

Swifties believing in the latter theory proved to be correct. Swift announced that the music video would be for "Fortnight" in a Thursday afternoon social media post.

Swifties online continue to grasp for any details to try to figure out what this mastermind might have in store for her beloved fan base.

What songs are on the new album?

Kaetlyn Liddy

Here's what songs are on the track list.

  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!!! (Florence + 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"

Swift has also announced four bonus tracks: "The Manuscript," “The Bolter,” “The Albatross” and “The Black Dog.” Each bonus track will be available on a separate vinyl variant and won't be on the streaming version of the album.

When does 'The Tortured Poets Department' drop?

Kaetlyn Liddy

Swift's 11th studio album, "The Tortured Poets Department," will be released Friday at 12 a.m. ET, or 9 p.m. PT.

It will be available for purchase on vinyl, on cassette, as a digital album and in CD form. It will also be on several streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music.

But if you plan to stream “The Tortured Poets Department” right after its release, be prepared for potential delays. When Swift’s most recent brand-new album, “Midnights,” was released, Spotify briefly crashed because of intense demand.