Kim Kardashian shade and Joe Alwyn references. Every famous name mentioned on Taylor Swift's new album.

Taylor Swift has done it again. She's sent us into a spin over a new album we now have to mercilessly decode.

The Tortured Poets Department just dropped and like all of the singer's past albums, fans are eager to find clues that could allude to some details about Swift's recent relationships, which include current boyfriend Travis Kelce, 2023 fling Matty Healy, and her six-year relationship with Joe Alwyn that ended last year.

There's a lot of material to work with and we've dug deep into what some of The Tortured Poets Department's lyrics could mean and the delightful Easter eggs that Swift has left her fans to find.

Taylor reignites her feud with Kim Kardashian. 

According to her fans, bonus song 'thanK you aIMee', which has seemingly capitalised the letters that spell Kim, and the track 'Cassandra' both have references to Swift's apparently ongoing feud with Kim Kardashian.

As well as the stylised title, 'thanK you aIMee' talks about "a bronze spray-tanned statue" and a school bully who "threatens to push me down the stairs." Fans also think there's a not-so-subtle suggestion that Kim publicly humiliated Swift back in 2016, by generating media headlines and "laughing at each baby step I take". 

Swift is standing strong though, as shown in her lyrics, according to fans. 

"I wrote a thousand songs that you find uncool / I built a legacy which you can't undo / But when I count the scars, there's a moment of truth / That there wouldn't be this, if there hadn't been you."

Watch: a look back to when Taylor Swift announced this new album. Post continues below.


Video via Grammys.

And even more telling:

"I can't forgive the way you made me feel. Screamed 'Fuck you, Aimee' to the night sky, as the blood was gushin'. But I can't forget the way you made me heal."

In 'Cassandra', Swift talks about the truth coming out, and seems to call out the hypocrisy of Kim's so-called 'Christian values'.

"The family, the pure greed, the Christian chorus line / They all said nothing / Blood's thick but nothing like a payroll / Bet they never spared a prayer for my soul / You can mark my words that I said it first / In a morning warning, no one heard."

In 'Cassandra' there is also a reference to the infamous snake emojis and motifs that Swift used to make reference to her situation with Kim, via Reputation.

"So, they killed Cassandra first 'cause she feared the worst / And tried to tell the town /So, they filled my cell with snakes, I regret to say / Do you believe me now?"

It's been almost eight years since the drama between the two powerhouses was ignited, after Kim leaked a short recording on Snapchat that seemed to prove Swift had given consent to being mentioned in Kanye's song 'Famous'. It was later revealed that Swift's story was the true version. 


Kanye had claimed Swift approved the lyrics: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous."

Taylor Swift's saddest lyrics are about Joe Alwyn.

Fans will be surprised to find there are not many obvious Joe Alwyn references on the album, a stark contrast to the expectation among fans that this would be the 'Joe breakup album'.

But she did potentially dedicate a few songs to the demise of their relationship. 

In 'So Long, London', she sings "I'm pissed off you let me give you all that youth for free," which could be about the six years she spent with Alwyn living in London. 

The tune is not salacious with gossip — it's just rather sad. 

"So long, London, had a good run. A moment of warm sun but I'm not the one," she sings. "So long, London, stitches undone, two graves, one gun. You’ll find someone." 

Swift also implies she was waiting for a marriage proposal. "You swore that you loved me, but where were the clues? / I died on the altar waitin' for the proof."

The track, 'Fresh Out The Slammer' Swift seems to compare the end of her relationship with Alwyn to jail time, but once she's free, she's ready to move on. 

"Grey and blue and fights and tunnels / Handcuffed to the spell I was under / For just one hour of sunshine / Years of labour, locks, and ceilings / In the shade of how he was feeling / But it’s gonna be all right, I did my time."


The link might be tenuous, but in 'Florida!!!', her collaboration with Florence + the Machine, Swift describes the city as an escape after the end of a relationship. After news broke of her relationship ending, Tampa was the first city she performed in on the Eras Tour. She sings: "I need to forget, so take me to Florida / I've got some regrets, I'll bury them in Florida."

Taylor Swift has plenty to say about Matty Healy.

Never fear, the album has plenty of digs about her ex, but she ain't aiming at Alwyn. Based on the clues and Easter eggs, it sounds like she's spent most of the songs venting about her short dalliance with The 1975 frontman, Matty Healy. 

Healy and Swift met back in 2014 before she got with Alwyn, but after the split, Swift and Healy went public in May 2023. They were broken up by June. 

In 'Guilty as Sin', Swift suggests that while she was in a relationship, she had "fatal fantasies" about someone from her past. If this wasn't overt enough, she mentioned the crush sending her a song by the Scottish band The Blue Nile.

And guess what? Healy has previously called The Blue Nile his "favourite band of all time". 

Swift goes on to address public criticism she faced from a controversial relationship in 'But Daddy I Love Him'. In the song, she takes aim at those who felt they had the right to police her dating habits. 


"'Stay away from her,' the saboteurs protested too much. I'd rather burn my whole life down than listen to one more second of all this bitchin' and moanin'. I'll tell you something 'bout my good name, it's mine along with all the disgrace."

Taylor then seemed to take aim at her haters with the mention of 'vipers' which could be a nod to her Reputation era. 

"I don't cater to all these vipers dressed in empire's clothing," she says. Oop, she's mad!

But don't worry, she's saved some of that venom for a certain man... a man who is probably Matty Healy. 

In 'The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived', she sings about someone "Gazing at me starry-eyed in your Jehovah's Witness suit," which could be referencing Healy's trademark suited look. 

She then accuses the same man of ghosting her at the end of their romance, as she alludes to drug use in the relationship. 

"You tried to buy some pills from a friend of friends of mine. They just ghosted you, now you know what it feels like," she sang. 

Swift later added that the person "showed me off then sank in stoned oblivion." 

The song culminates in Swift singing, "You said normal girls were 'boring' but you were gone by the morning. You kicked out the stage lights, but you're still performing." 

Wow. Sorry to this man but this is a sensational takedown. 


There's also a chance, 'Fresh Out the Slammer', could in fact be a reference to Healy, rather than Alwyn. I guess we'll never know. 

Even the title track, 'The Tortured Poets Department', seems to reference Healy — possibly a joke at his expense for bringing a typewriter to her apartment like a modern day Dylan Thomas.

"You left your typewriter at my apartment / Straight from the Tortured Poets Department / I think some things I never say / Like, 'Who uses typewriters anyway?'" 

She also references her partner smoking and eating seven bars of chocolate — and that could be a reference to The 1975's hit, 'Chocolate', and refers to the man in question as a "tattooed golden retriever". The mind boggles. 

There's a love song about Travis Kelce.

But don't worry, it's not all doom and gloom. There are plenty of light and uplifting songs on the album and 'The Alchemy' sounds a lot like a love song about NFL player, Travis Kelce. 

The song is stuffed with sports analogies that aren't subtle, as she sings "When I touch down, call the amateurs and cut 'em from the team," which could be referencing how often the couple would private jet to visit each other. 

The sport talk continues...

"These blokes warm the benches, we've been on a winning streak. Where's the trophy? He just comes, running over to me." 

One particular line in the song stood out as Swift sang, "I haven't come around in so long. But I'm making a comeback to where I belong." 


This could allude to how private she was during the Alwyn years, with Swift being much more of a public person since dating Kelce. 

Taylor name-drops plenty of famous friends.

In the song 'The Tortured Poets Department', another song rumoured to be about Healy, Swift drops a curious reference. "You smoked and ate seven bars of chocolate, we declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist." 

Big day to be Charlie Puth.

She goes on to make a few more references to famous people. "You told Lucy you'd kill yourself if I ever leave. And I had said that to Jack about you so I felt seen," she sings.

Considering that Jack Antonoff co-wrote the song with Swift, many would expect this is the Jack in question. As for the mysterious Lucy, some reckon she's referring to Boygenius member, Lucy Dacus, as the band opened for Swift on the Eras Tour and coincidentally... Lucy is friends with Healy. 

And then there's the mention of the famous poet, Dylan Thomas and Patty Smith. 

"I laughed in your face and said, 'You're not Dylan Thomas. I'm not Patti Smith. This ain't the Chelsea Hotel. We're modern idiots.'"

Stay tuned friends, knowing the Swifties, there will be MANY more Easter eggs to come. 

This article was originally published on April 19, 2024, and has since been updated with new information.

Feature Image: Getty/Taylor Swift. 

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