Taylor Swift set to smash personal best with The Tortured Poets Department release

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Jay Hanna
The Nightly
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Taylor Swift is set to record a personal best with her new album.
Taylor Swift is set to record a personal best with her new album. Credit: PA/Alamy

Taylor Swift is out to shatter her own streaming and sales records with the release of her 11th studio album The Tortured Poets Department.

The most anticipated album in recent history, TTPD hits streaming platforms and shelves simultaneously around the world at noon Perth time today and is expected to sell in excess of 1.5 million copies in its first week of release.

Hits Daily Double, an industry publication that projects album sales, said the album is likely to be “frighteningly big”, pointing out that Swift’s profile has sky-rocketed in the past year, even eclipsing her popularity at the time she released her last studio album, 2022’s Midnights. That boost has come mostly thanks to her world-conquering, record-breaking, billion dollar-grossing Eras Tour.

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Many of the records Swift looks set to break with TTPD are her own.

She currently holds the record for the biggest first-week debut for an album of the 2020s decade with 1989 (Taylor’s Version) which shifted 1.653 million units to debut on top of the Billboard charts.

Swift previously held the record twice before, once with Folklore’s debut in 2020 which shifted 846,000 units, then she broke her own record with the release of Midnights in 2022 which sold 1.578 million in its first week.

Swift also currently holds the Spotify streaming record for most-streamed album in a single day, doing so first with Midnights, then topping her record with 1989 (Taylor’s Version).

TTPD is guaranteed to top the Billboard 200, becoming Swift’s 14th No. 1 album. That will tie her with Jay-Z for the most No. 1s for a solo artist, with only The Beatles achieving more No.1s with 19 albums.

Taylor Swift announced she would release an album at the Grammys in February.
Taylor Swift announced she would release an album at the Grammys in February. Credit: Taylor Swift

TTPD features 16 songs with one bonus track, The Manuscript. Three additional vinyl variations featuring a separate bonus track each, The Bolter, The Albatross and The Black Dog which are likely to be withheld from streaming platforms for the time being.

Swift has co-written the album with long-term producer Jack Antonoff and The National’s Aaron Dessner who has been working with Swift since the release of her 2020 lockdown albums Folklore and Evermore, released six months apart.

Post Malone also has a writing credit for the first track and lead single Fortnight, on which he features. The black and white video for the song drops tomorrow at 8am.

Taylor Swift performs during the Eras Tour.
Taylor Swift performs during the Eras Tour. Credit: AAP/TheWest

British artist Florence + the Machine (aka Florence Welch) is also featured on the track Florida!!!

Anticipation among Swifites has reached fever pitch with #TTPD trending on X all week and TikTok and Instagram flooded with fan theories about whether the album will predominantly address the breakdown of her six-year relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn or whether her short-lived fling with The 1975 singer Matty Healy could also fuel some of the songs.

Leaks of the album were reported yesterday with reactions on X suggesting Healy, rather than Alwyn, could be the subject of at least a few songs.

Throughout the week Swift has partnered with several streaming services and social media companies to tease fans with Easter eggs and clues. Billboards have been placed in cities around the world including Sydney, Melbourne, London, New York and Toronto, with each location revealing a YouTube short film of Swift typing one letter on a typewriter. The letters spelled out For A Fortnight, in reference to the lead single.

There has also been a pop-up library exhibit in Los Angeles where fans could interact with items and unlock clues about the album and songs.

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