Taylor Swift Explains the Meaning Behind ‘Fortnight,’ ‘Clara Bow’ and ‘Florida!!!’ Tracks From ‘Tortured Poets’

The singer breaks down her inspiration for five tracks via Amazon Music

Taylor Swift attends the 2024 Grammys in Schiaparelli (Getty Images)
Taylor Swift attends the 2024 Grammys in Schiaparelli (Getty Images)

Taylor Swift peels back some of the smoky and starry layers of her latest album “The Tortured Poets Department,” released Friday, with track-by-track commentary for Amazon Music. In the new playlist, she describes the inspiration for songs like “Fortnight,” “Clara Bow,” “Florida!!!” and more.

“‘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 says of the album’s first track, featuring Post Malone. “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.”

Swift launched the music video for “Fortnight,” which she dubbed the album’s first single, at 5 p.m. PT on Friday. It references the album title by including Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles, who starred in the beloved 1989 film “The Dead Poets Society.”

The other collaboration on the album, “Florida!!!” featuring Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, sprung from Swift’s true crime curiosity.

“I’m always watching ‘Dateline.’ People have these crimes that they commit; where do they immediately skip town and go to? They go to Florida,” she says. “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!”

Swift describes the last song on the first half of the album, “Clara Bow,” as “a commentary” on what she’s witnessed in the music industry over the span of her career.

“I used to sit in record labels trying to get a record deal when I was a little kid,” she says. “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.” 

After mentioning “the first It Girl” Clara Bow, Swift also names Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks as a model of songwriting for her before she predicts what people might say about herself in the future to an up-and-coming artist.

Additionally, Swift further delves into “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys” and “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”

Find the full playlist and commentary here.


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