Taylor Swift performing at the NSAI 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards

Is the Taylor Swift ‘Tortured Poets Department’ Leak Legitimate?

Days before Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated The Tortured Poets Department was slated to drop, someone allegedly decided to ruin the release and leak the album ahead of time.

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The Tortured Poets Department is Swift’s latest studio album. She announced its release during the 2024 Grammy Awards after winning Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights. After the announcement, she quickly dropped the full track list and has been teasing and dropping hints about the new album since. She even worked with Apple Music to create an Easter egg hunt for her fans to search for hidden lyrics and messages related to the album.

The album has received high speculation regarding who the songs might be about. Some Swifties were convinced the album was about her ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn, given that they uncovered an interview in which it was revealed Alwyn was in a group chat dubbed the “Tortured Man Club” with Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott. Meanwhile, with song titles like “But Daddy I Love Him” and “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can),” many were anticipating some particularly heartbreaking and juicy tracks. However, some had their Tortured Poets Department launch party plans disrupted when the album supposedly leaked on social media before planned.

Was Taylor Swift’s new album really leaked?

While leaks do occasionally occur, many also tend to be quickly debunked. For example, fake movie scripts have circulated on the internet, with users claiming their legitimacy to get attention. It is also becoming easier to leak fake music due to the rise of AI-generated audio.

Hence, many are skeptical about whether the leaked songs, in this case, are the real deal, especially since Swift has spoken publicly about how her fear of leaks has led her to take some drastic measures to protect her work. Since Swift has not publicly commented on it, it has not been officially confirmed that the leaked songs are from the new album. However, many do suspect the leak is legitimate and have reportedly found references to Swift’s colleagues and ex-boyfriends, such as Jack Antonoff or Matt Healy, in the lyrics.

On April 17, a Google Drive file started circulating on social media, allegedly containing all 17 tracks from Swift’s new album. Users who got ahold of the file quickly began sharing lyrics from the songs on social media. One leaked fragment reads, “You smoked then ate seven bars of chocolate / We declared Charlie Puth / should be a bigger artist / I scratch your head, you fall asleep / Like a tattooed Golden Retriever.” Another leaked fragment supposedly about Healy reads, “You’re not Dylan Thomas, I’m not Patti Smith / This ain’t the Chelsea Hotel, we’re modern idiots.” Swifties also claimed that “But Daddy I Love Him” is about Healy and that some of the leaked lyrics seem to insinuate Swift was ghosted by him, although some of the songs seem to defend him and condemn fans for getting involved in their romance.

Granted, many of the leaked lyrics are pretty strange, raising further uncertainty about their legitimacy. If the leak is real, fans estimate about 80% of the album is about Healy. Given Healy’s numerous controversies, many are unhappy that most of the album is allegedly all about the pair’s short-lived and highly criticized relationship. Still, social media users did notice that X disabled searches for “Taylor Swift leaks” and was removing the posts containing leaks for copyright violation, suggesting there may be some weight to the leak rumors.

Unless Swift or her team issues a statement, listeners will likely have to wait for the album to drop on April 19 to determine if the leaked songs and lyrics actually from The Tortured Poets Department.

(featured image: Terry Wyatt / Getty)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.