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.
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.