Taylor Swift Hides Secret Message In Apple Music Playlists

16 April 2024 | 2:08 pm | Tione Zylstra

So far “hereby”, “conduct” and “this” have been found.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift (Credit: TAS Rights Management)

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Taylor Swift is up to her Easter-egg-hiding ways again, concealing words in her exclusive Apple Music playlists for fans to uncover and unscramble in the lead-up to the release of her new album, The Tortured Poets Department.

Sharing a teaser story on the @taylornation Instagram account on April 13, all that was shown was a quick look of the album’s logo, with Apple Music tagged next to a detective emoji. The video seemed to glitch – and that was all Swift’s fans needed to find the first word. Hidden in her playlist I Love You, It’s Ruining My Life, a few lyrics to Swift’s song Glitch were (seemingly) randomly capitalised – H, E, Y, B, E and R. Unscrambled, the letters provided the word “Hereby”. 

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Confirmed by the Taylor Nation account the next day (April 14), fans were thrilled to have unlocked the first part of the puzzle. Since then, two more words have been revealed and unscrambled: “Conduct”, found in Peace, and “This”, found in Better Than Revenge. Apple Music has confirmed they will release a word each day until the release of The Tortured Poets Department this Friday (April 19).

Spotify users weren’t completely left out of the fun, though. Swift posted a video on the music streaming platform, urging fans to pre-save the album and to keep checking in for more announcements.

The mystery trail has been a way to satiate fans in the last week before the release of The Tortured Poets Department on Friday. In the wake of her 2023 split with Joe Alwyn, this album is hotly rumoured to be her first breakup album since Red. With the name of the album seemingly referencing Alwyn’s group-chat with co-stars called The Tortured Man Club, and the tracklist providing song names like So Long, London, The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived, and I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can), The Tortured Poets Department looks like it’ll be a very revealing, and perhaps brutal, insight into Swift’s failed relationship. 

With no singles released, fans don’t even know what genre the album will be – though some speculate that it will have a synthpop vibe. Apple Music characterised it as simply “pop”, while Spotify hasn’t even put a genre on the album yet.

Despite the lack of singles, Swift hasn’t been shy in releasing a multitude of record “variants”. She announced her fourth and final variant, The Black Dog Edition, during her concert in Singapore on March 4, while Melbourne was surprised by the announcement of The Bolter Edition on night one of the Australian leg of the Eras tour. The other variants are named The Manuscript Edition and The Albatross Edition. 

These announcements come after Swift’s music made its triumphant return to TikTok on April 12. UMG notably pulled all their music from the social media giant earlier this year, which included Swift’s discography, but it seems the mega pop star might’ve struck her own deal with TikTok in allowing her music to return to the platform.