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Taylor Swift surprises fans with secret ‘double album’ edition of her new record

Taylor Swift details several ex-boyfriends and hints at new romance in album (Republic Records via AP)
Taylor Swift details several ex-boyfriends and hints at new romance in album (Republic Records via AP)

Taylor Swift has surprised her fans by releasing a secret “double album” instalment of her new record The Tortured Poets Department, which appears to be filled with references to her recent romances.

Hours after dropping the 16-song edition of her 11th studio album, which is thought to offer insight into her break-up with British actor Joe Alwyn and The 1975 star Matty Healy, the US pop superstar announced an expanded version with an extra 15 songs, titled The Anthology.

The original album appeared to be leaked online 24 hours before its scheduled release, so the new songs are believed to have not been heard before.

Swift announced the news by sharing album artwork on social media which shows her with one arm wrapped around her head and her other hand caressing her face.

Alongside the post she wrote: “It’s a 2am surprise: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret DOUBLE album.

“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 instalment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs.

“And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.”

The 34-year-old singer-songwriter unveiled her initial 16-song album, which features collaborations from Post Malone and Florence + The Machine, at midnight ET on Friday.

Swift, who is known for taking inspiration from past relationships for her music, has placed So Long, London at number five in the tracklist – the slot reserved for the most meaningful song on each of Swift’s albums.

The song is thought to offer new insight into her split with The Favourite actor Alwyn after six years together.

In the lyrics, Swift hints at wedding plans, singing: “You swore that you loved me, but where were the clues, I died on the altar waiting for the proof”, as well as being upset at having to leave London, which she said she “loved”.

Meanwhile, fans have interpreted the lyrics to the first song on the album titled Fortnight, featuring US star Post Malone, to be about British singer Healy, whom she was rumoured to be dating briefly last year after her split from Alwyn.

Hours before the release of the album, Swift announced that Fortnight would be the first single of the album and a music video is set to be released at 1am on Saturday in the UK.

While Swift does not namecheck Healy, a number of songs appear to reference him, including on Guilty As Sin, where she sings about having “fatal fantasies” for someone from her past while in a relationship.

In the title track, which fans believe also offers insight into her time with Healy, she namechecks singer Charlie Puth, singing: “You smoked then ate seven bars of chocolate, we declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist.”

Fans also believe the 15th track, The Alchemy, is a nod to her blossoming romance with NFL star Travis Kelce as the song references American football terms including the team, warm benches, winning streak, trophy and league.

The pop star began a high-profile romance with Kelce last year, with her rushing the field at the Super Bowl to kiss him after his third victory in five years, and recently attending the Coachella music festival together.

San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs – Super Bowl LVIII – Allegiant Stadium
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce with Taylor Swift following his Super Bowl victory (PA)

After the album was released, Swift wrote on social media: “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.”

The album also includes a song titled Florida!!! featuring UK-based band Florence + The Machine, as well as tracks titled The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived, Clara Bow and The Manuscript.

Before the album’s release, fans had speculated whether the album title was a reference to star Alwyn.

In December 2022, Alwyn and Normal People star Paul Mescal revealed they had a WhatsApp group chat with Fleabag actor Andrew Scott called The Tortured Man Club.

At the time, they joked they were not using it as much any more because they were less tortured before news of Alwyn and Swift’s split emerged less than four months later.

Swift is known for writing songs about her ex-boyfriends, with previous flames Joe Jonas, Harry Styles, Jake Gyllenhaal and John Mayer among those who have been linked to some of her biggest hits.

Following the album’s release, Swift’s friend and long-term collaborator, music producer Jack Antonoff praised the US singer.

He wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Love this album more than I can say…. love you all very much… more later very overwhelmed… love you Taylor.”

Swift will bring her Eras tour to the UK from June 7, when she kicks off with three shows in Edinburgh.

The run of London shows begins on June 21.