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Surprise! ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Is A Double Album!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

It has been a crazy weekend for Swifties! At midnight on April 19, Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated 11th studio album The Tortured Poets Department. Then to Swifties’ surprise at 2 am, Swift released The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, which featured 15 more songs.

Back at the 2024 Grammys in February, when Swift won the Grammy for “Best Pop Vocal Album” for her album Midnights, the singer announced The Tortured Poets Department for the first time, revealing the album would be released on April 19. After the Grammys, Swift posted the album’s cover and also revealed the album’s tagline, “All’s fair in love and poetry.” The next day, Swift posted the album’s tracklist to social media, helping fuel the already high Swiftie excitement. 

It didn’t take long for the Swifties to create theories about what the songs could be about based on their titles. One song title that got the most attention was “So Long, London.” Fans quickly speculated that the song would be about Swift’s breakup with her longtime boyfriend Joe Alwyn. (They were unsurprisingly right!) 

Leading up to the album’s release, Swift announced multiple limited-edition vinyls that each featured different bonus tracks. Then three days before the album’s release, Swift  partnered with Spotify on a Library Installment pop-up experience at The Grove in Los Angeles.

The installment included a detailed display that featured many The Tortured Poets Department-themed items. Swifties quickly realized that the items were Easter eggs for the album’s release, which was just hours away. One clue included an open book that displayed lyrics from the album. 

One of the biggest Easter eggs Swifties noticed was a statue of a hand holding up two fingers and a clock that displayed 2:00. This wasn’t the first Easter egg revealing the number two. When Swift announced The Tortured Poets Department at the Grammys, she held up two fingers when explaining that she had been working on the album for two years. A few days before the album’s release, Swift posted a video illustrating leaving the Midnights era and entering The Tortured Poets Department era. In the video, there was also a clock that read 2:00. Lastly, two days before the album’s release, Swift tweeted a countdown using an emoji that was holding up two fingers.

Fans began to speculate that the “twos” had to mean something – but what? Swifities joked that the “twos” meant that either Reputation (Taylor’s Version) was also being released on April 19, or that The Tortured Poets Department could be a double album.

To Swifities’ surprise, The Tortured Poets Department was in fact a double album!

In the 48 hours since The Tortured Poets Department’s release, Swift has already begun breaking records. The album’s lead single “Fortnight,” which features Post Malone, debuted at #1 on Apple Music, making it the first time a song by a female artist debuted at #1 in US Apple Music History. The Tortured Poets Department also earned the biggest opening day for a pop album on Apple Music. 

Just 12 hours after the album was released, Spotify revealed that Swift broke the record for the biggest single day streams of an album on Spotify in 2024. Before April 19th was even over, The Tortured Poets Department reached over 200 million streams, making it the first album on Spotify to ever receive over 200 million streams in one day.

The Tortured Poets Department ultimately debuted with 313.7 million streams on Spotify in its first day, making it the biggest album debut in Spotify history. The album also becomes the first album in Spotify history to debut with an average of over 10 million streams per song. “Fortnight” (featuring Post Malone) broke the record for the most streamed song in a single day on Spotify, with 25.2 million streams. On its second day, The Tortured Poets Department earned 181.9 million streams. 

These record-breaking numbers aren’t that shocking when you think about how many Swifties there are out there. According to Numerator, in 42% of all U.S. households, there is at least one person who says they are a Swiftie. 

The Tortured Poets Department is already expected to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart and have many songs debut high on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. We can’t wait to see what other records Swift will break this week!

Daniella is a sophomore at Hofstra University with a major in early childhood education. She is from Long Island, New York. In her free time she’s either reading, writing, scrolling on Instagram, watching Tik Toks, listening to Taylor Swift, catching up on pop culture, or spending time with her friends and sorority sisters.