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THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT (CLARE'S NOTES)

It's been 24 hours since Taylor Swift announced her newest bomb : her 11th studio album. You'd have to live under a rock...or just not have any cool women in your life if you haven't heard the news. Reports are flying about what eggs we missed, what we should know, and predictions ahead of the April 19th drop.


I wouldn't be the chronically online Zillennial and Swiftie that I claim to be if I did not toss my own two cents into the ring. So let's get into it, from the Easter Eggs that I DID notice to her cryptic announcement post...


The B&W Profile Photos


We all saw it. We all thought it. Rep (TV) was coming. But we were wrong. We had decided that black nods are all for Rep, and orange is for the album Karma (which is nothing more than a rumor). Taylor let us get too comfortable with those notions. She let us think we had it figured out. She had her close circle change their profile pictures to black and white to enhance the rumors that Rep (TV) was on it's way.


Travis Kelce, Blake Lively, Taylor Lautner, Austin Swift, Gigi Hadid, Jack Antonoff, Este Haim of HAIM, and Kelsea Ballerini. Gracie Abrams was an opener of the Eras Tour and stands with Swift, making her icon black and white. Sabrina Carpenter did not but that adds to the mystery.


Swift's GRAMMY Outfit


Taylor has used her outfit on an extremely regular basis to give us clues to her next steps. She wore six necklaces, a nod to her sixth album aka Reputation. She wore a white dress which hints as a stab to Joe Alwyn because he wouldn't marry her for what we would assume, is her reputation not being up to his. She wore black gloves as a way to hide her hand, literally and metaphorically. She had her hair down and more natural which is Reputation coded. It seemed so obvious, and that is always where we make the mistake.


We missed the simple braid that feels folklore. We missed the soft-toe opened shoe, not a cockroach-killer pump. She had a romantic clock necklace. It's not sharp like Rep. She's in a flowing dress and not much with Rep has been soft or whimsical. She's sharing that TPD will be soft, and romantic, but powerful.


Album Title


Taylor has only named her albums one word. It's quick, and snappy. Even her debut album, self-titled, we all just call Debut. Naming the album something more than three syllables is cause for commotion. And dissection.


Of course...Joe Alwyn isn't special. He's just like er other b*tch. He's got a group chat with his boys that makes him seem more mysterious than he is. Come on, the "The Tortured Man Club"? Really? Paul Mescal is a member of the WhatsApp chat and also Phoebe Bridger's ex which makes the spice that much more interesting as well.


Her Instagram Post


She ran off stage and posted the announcement to the world within seconds. She shares the album art with a folklore feel. It gives calm confidence and assuredness. However, she wrote this two years ago so it may be the true heartache of the breakup as it was unfolding before her eyes. Like Midnights but with the door already closed rather than in the process. Either way, I'm here for the energy because we don't really know her timeline.


Swipe to the second photo in the carousel post, it's her well-known handwriting atop a folder titled TDP. Shall we break it down? Let's.


"And so I enter into evidence

My tarnished coat of arms"


As an Irish lassie, I know my family coat of arms well. They're colors and symbols that my clan would wear in battle and display as a way to identify ourselves to others. It's also created with intention in the design as elements that are important to said family or clan. Swift is entering into evidence (her public music) her broken heart. Arms are carried on totems by troops and groups, but also on a sleeve. Taylor's "arms" is her heart on her sleeve. She gave us Lover which was for Joe Alwyn and there's speculation that Midnights has songs nodding towards their breakup but nothing confirmed. To me, she is confirming here that it's a breakup and break down album.


"My muses acquired like bruises

My talisman and charms"


She's always treated her relationships, not just the ex-lover, as a muse. She learns not only from the partner but from the experiences that they enjoy together...or NOT together in some cases. (Uhhh her 21st birthday WITHOUT thou we shall not name).


Bruises is a metaphor that she has used on a few occasions. She could say cuts or scars, an intentional wound and it's healing. However, bruise is a clever choice because bruises feel more like an aftermath of the hurt than the action of being hurt itself. It's the pain caused by a risk or fun moment and adrenaline or love stops the pain while it's happening, but still leaves a bruise in it's wake.


She's used similar metaphors here:

Red (Taylor’s Version)’

  • All Too Well (10 Minute Version): And did the twin flame bruise paint you blue?

'1989 (Taylor’s Version)’

  • Bad Blood (feat. Kendrick Lamar): Body bumped, bruised, stabbed in the back

'Lover’

  • Miss Americana And The Heartbreak Prince: My team is losing, battered and bruising

'evermore’

  • Happiness: Past the blood and bruise, past the curses and cries

'Midnights’

  • The Great War: My knuckles were bruised like violets, sucker punching walls, cursed you as I sleep talked


Lastly, one of my friends, Morgan, made the connection between The Great War's lyric "Uh-huh, the bombs were close" and the last line of Taylor's announcement "the tick, tick, tick, of love bombs". Bombs have gotten close and now they're going off. Swift LOVES to connect moments in song. Like come on...all of the Midnights tracks have a sister song so it's VERY possible for TPD be the break-up album that Midnights alluded to.


Her Sign Off


She's signed off her announcement with "The Chairman". She's got a committee. She's got a DEPARTMENT. Now, let's tie it all in with the black-and-white profile pictures. She gave us that information but we used it wrong. She's got HAIM, Gracie Abrams, and Phoebe Bridgers in her corner. They're 1000% members of her cabinet. Does this mean features? Does this mean co-writing? Is this album going to include another's song style? I think it may. I think TPD may be an album that is primarily duets and features, and Taylor produces alongside Antonoff for each song. I may not have all the facts but I do know that she is going into battle, and she is building her army.


The Date


April 19th...the same day as the American Revolution. Taylor is from Pennsylvania. Joe is from England. I think you know how this one goes. April 19th, you can not come soon enough.





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