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."

Clara Bow

The silent era actor who popularized the term "It Girl," she epitomized the free-spirited "flapper" of the era, and later became a cautionary example for how the entertainment industry chews up talented and beautiful young women.


A small town on the Florida Panhandle, halfway between the military city of Pensacola and the "Redneck Riviera" of Panama City Beach, near where Hurricane Michael hit in 2018.

Jehovah's Witnesses

An offshoot of Christianity famous for going door-to-door recruiting in dark suits, looking a lot like a certain British rock singer.

Stevie Nicks

The Fleetwood Mac singer whose ethereal, mystic aesthetic has long been songwriting, vocal and fashion inspiration for young singers, yet as Swift put it, it's "hell on earth to be heavenly."

Taylor Swift

She finally gets meta as she riffs on a newcomer who will inevitably be compared to her, with an "edge she never did," only to have the biz grind her down too.

The Black Dog

pub in London now likely to become the U.K.'s version of the constantly swarmed Beachwood Cafe.


A ancient Trojan priestess who was fated to be a prophet but never believed, most famously about Greek troops hiding inside the Trojan Horse.

'The Bolter'

In the novels of the British writer Nancy Mitford, it's a nickname given to the narrator's mother, a serial monogamist who cycles through relationships. A real-life inspiration, Lady Idina Sackville, scandalized 1920s high society in the U.K. and its colony in Kenya.

©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.