Courtesy 13 Management

Taylor Swift is giving fans more insight into her new album “The Tortured Poets Department,” thanks to a track-by-track experience with Amazon Music.

Fans can now listen to the album — which shattered streaming records after its release on April 19 — along with commentary from Swift breaking down the meaning of each track. To listen to “The Tortured Poets Department” with Swift’s commentary, fans can simply say to Alexa, “I’m a member of ‘The Tortured Poets Department.’”

Through the experience, Swift has revealed the inspiration behind songs including “Fortnight” with Post Malone, “Clara Bow,” “Florida!!!” with Florence + the Machine, “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” and “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys.”

“‘Fortnight’ is a song that exhibits a lot of the common themes that run throughout this album. One of which being fatalism — longing, pining away, lost dreams,” Swift said of the album’s opening song. “I think that it’s a very fatalistic album in that there are lots of very dramatic lines about life or death. ‘I love you, it’s ruining my life.’ These are very hyperbolic, dramatic things to say. It’s that kind of album.”

Of “Clara Bow,” named after the silent film actress, Swift said the track is “a commentary on what I’ve seen in the industry that I’ve been in over time.”

“I used to sit in record labels trying to get a record deal when I was a little kid. And they’d say, ‘You know, you remind us of’ and then they’d name an artist, and then they’d kind of say something disparaging about her, ‘but you’re this, you’re so much better in this way or that way.’ And that’s how we teach women to see themselves, as like you could be the new replacement for this woman who’s done something great before you,” she said. “I picked women who have done great things in the past and have been these archetypes of greatness in the entertainment industry. Clara Bow was the first ‘it girl.’ Stevie Nicks is an icon and an incredible example for anyone who wants to write songs and make music.”

“Florida!!!” featuring Florence + the Machine is one of the rare songs on the album that doesn’t see Swift directly speaking of a former lover. Swift said the inspiration for this track came from “always watching ‘Dateline.’”

“People have these crimes that they commit; where do they immediately skip town and go to? They go to Florida,” the singer added. “They try to reinvent themselves, have a new identity, blend in. I think when you go through a heartbreak, there’s a part of you that thinks, ‘I want a new name. I want a new life. I don’t want anyone to know where I’ve been or know me at all.’ And so that was the jumping-off point. Where would you go to reinvent yourself and blend in? Florida!”

As for “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me,” Swift revealed that she wrote the tune “alone, sitting at the piano in one of those moments when I felt bitter about just all the things we do to our artists as a society and as a culture.”

“There’s a lot about this particular concept on ‘The Tortured Poets Department,’” she added. “What do we do to our writers, and our artists, and our creatives? We put them through hell. We watch what they create, and then we judge it. We love to watch artists in pain, often to the point where I think sometimes as a society we provoke that pain and we just watch what happens.”

Lastly, Swift broke down the metaphor within “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys.”

The song is about “being somebody’s favorite toy until they break you and then don’t want to play with you anymore,” she said. “This is how a lot of us are in relationships where we are so valued by a person in the beginning, and then all of a sudden, they break us or devalue us in their mind. We’re still clinging on to ‘No no, no. You should’ve seen them the first time they saw me. They’ll come back to that. They’ll get back to that.’”

Written by: Q1075

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