A field guide to the references on Taylor Swift's 'The Tortured Poets Department'

August Brown, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Taylor Swift release day always arrives with a thicket of real-life allusions to ancient myths, literary heroes and local bars alike. The 31-track (!) "Tortured Poets Department" is packed with new poets to read, bands to discover and weird vacation towns to visit, and here's a brief field guide to the best of them.

As you're crushing "Florida!!!" calling in your wellness checks on the 1975's Matty Healy today, be sure to send Patti Smith's "Just Kids" back up the book charts too.

Charlie Puth

The pop singer behind the "Furious 7" tribute to the late Paul Walker "See You Again," along with the top-10 hits "Attention" and "We Don't Talk Anymore." She's right, he is underrated!

Dylan Thomas

The Welsh poet (and famously volatile drinker) behind much-beloved poems like "And Death Shall Have No Dominion," "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," beloved stateside for his broadcast of "A Child's Christmas in Wales." A famous resident at New York's Chelsea Hotel, he died at 39 from pneumonia and other ailments.


Patti Smith

The poet and rocker defined an entire generation of New York artists, through and through. Her memoir about her friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, "Just Kids," will inspire bright young things for time immemorial, and albums like "Horses"and "Easter" still sound as bracing they did on release day.

The Blue Nile

The Scottish electronic rock band known for suave and evocative synth arrangements, whose 1989 album "Hats" was famously a formative album for the 1975's Matty Healy, who was especially fond of the song "Downtown Lights."


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