Chicago/ Fun & Entertainment
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Published on April 17, 2024
Taylor Swift's Enigmatic Mural in Chicago Strikes Again, Teasing "The Tortured Poets Department"Source: iHeartRadioCA, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Swift as ever, Taylor Swift has given her legion of fans yet another cryptic challenge to decipher in the heart of Chicago. A mural bearing the number 13 and the letters "TTPD," an acronym for Swift's upcoming album "The Tortured Poets Department," has become an enigma on Grand Avenue. According to CBS News Chicago, the mural has become a hot spot, attracting Swifties who are determined to unravel the singer's latest Easter eggs.

True to Taylor's signature style, the mural is intricately crafted to not only announce her release but to also plunge fans into a whirlwind of speculation. The center of the mural is designed to function as a QR code, leading the most eagle-eyed supporters to a 13-second typewriter-teasing YouTube short, sparking theories that are as swift to come by as they are to evolve. One fan was quick to connect the dots numerically, noting, "We have got 'TTPD' three times, 13 four times – and if you do Taylor math, we get 16, which is, today's the 16th," Bermudez told CBS News Chicago.

The mural isn't just a talking point for the most dedicated of Swifties; it's also stopping Chicago natives in their tracks. Those who work nearby described the experience as a fun spectacle, with Becca Born saying, "It's been so fun just seeing this all day." The attention to the mural is reminiscent of a solar eclipse, a peculiar occurrence that brings everyone out for a glimpse – only this time, it's to witness the latest escapade from the pop prodigy herself.

Amidst all the excitement, there is a river of theories flowing about the mural's significance. One theory links the mural to a line from Swift's song "the lakes," intimating a relation to the album's title. Another fan believes that Swift is, just maybe, preparing to drop not one, but two albums at once. "I think it's a presale link, but I'm hoping that it, you know, maybe something more – maybe like a new single dropping tonight or a music video coming out," Samantha Jabor optimistically speculated in an interview with CBS News Chicago.

Over in the world of TikTok, Swift's fervent fan, Jess Dennison, after a tip-off from a fan page, raced to see the mural and shared her discovery live to her 60,000 followers. Dennison, who saw Swift in concert in Chicago during the Eras Tour, was quoted in the Chicago Tribune, revealing a sentiment that's undeniably shared by Swift's audience: "I kind of grew up with her. She’s only a few years older than me, so her life and my life lined up perfectly."

While the mural and its master, Swift, keep fans on their toes, one certainty remains: the countdown is on for "The Tortured Poets Department" to hit the streets this coming Friday. Swifties are prepared, once again, to be swept off their feet by Taylor's "cryptic and Machiavellian" methods – a sentiment echoing across the fan base, with Kristin Blevins telling CBS News Chicago, "She says she's cryptic and Machiavellian because she cares."