While Swifties expected Taylor Swift to announce Reputation (Taylor’s Version) at the 2024 Grammy Awards, she pulled a fast one on everyone by dropping news of a completely new album instead.
“Okay, this is my 13th Grammy. My lucky number; I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that,” Swift joked after taking home the award for best pop vocal album (she also won her fourth album of the year award later in the evening). “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.”
She continued, “Which is that my brand-new album comes out April 19. It’s called The Tortured Poets Department.” When I tell you I physically dropped my phone...
Based on the two-year timeline, at least part of this album was written while Swift was still dating ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn, and many fans believe the title is a direct jab at the 32-year-old actor. Why? Back in May 2022, Alwyn told British GQ that he and Paul Mescal are both in a What’s App group chat titled the Tortured Man Club, a reference to their respective roles as the male leads in the TV adaptations of Sally Rooney novels.
Such is life as a male lead in a Sally Rooney adaptation.
Combine that with a lyric from the Folklore bonus track, “The Lakes,” which is largely believed to be written about Alwyn, and you’ve got yourself an album title. “Take me to the lakes, where all the poets went to die,” Swift sang. “I don’t belong, and my beloved, neither do you. Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry. I’m setting off, but not without my muse."
Considering how thoroughly Swifties investigate the tiniest nuggets of information, this felt like a no-brainer. “Joe Alwyn, your time is coming,” one fan wrote on X.com alongside a video of Alwyn and Mescal discussing the group chat, as well as Swift’s announcement.
“Taylor Swift has finally done it. She’s made me feel sorry for an attractive, rich, white man,” one Reddit user wrote, while another said, “I had forgotten about this group chat name, but when I first heard the album name, my first thought was Joe and Taylor’s professed shared love for sad songs. So yeah, this tracks.”
Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn dated for six years before splitting in 2023. According to sources, Alwyn “struggled” with Swift’s level of fame, though the breakup appeared amicable until a bunch of Swift’s inner-circle unfollowed the actor on Instagram, including Alwyn’s supposed friend Ryan Reynolds.
She’ll never walk Cornelia Street again.
“All’s fair in love and poetry,” Swift captioned her new cover art on Instagram, along with a poem to introduce the album: “And so I enter into evidence / My tarnished coat of arms / My muses acquired like bruises / My talismans and charms.”
Originally Appeared on Glamour