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Taylor Swift Mural Appears in Chicago With Cryptic QR Code Message About ‘Tortured Poets’

A cryptic mural teasing Taylor Swift‘s fast-approaching new album The Tortured Poets Department has appeared in Chicago, complete with an enormous QR code that leads fans to an error message on the pop star’s YouTube channel. 

A group of painters was still working on the mural as of Monday (April 15), brushing the black-and-white piece onto the side of a building in the River North district of the city. Fan photos of the installment show a large QR code surrounded by partially faded lines of code that, upon taking a closer look, appear to be made up of repeating “13”s and “TTPD”s, Swift’s lucky number and the initials of her new record, respectively. 

But here’s the best part: Scanning the code with one’s phone leads viewers to an unlisted Short on Swift’s official YouTube page. Press “play,” and a message reading “Error 321” will appear onscreen, as if someone on a typewriter were spelling it out one character at a time. 

Arriving Friday (April 19), The Tortured Poets Department features 16 main tracks — two of which are collaborations with Post Malone and Florence + the Machine — and four bonus songs spread out across various deluxe editions of the album. Swift first announced the project while accepting best pop vocal for Midnights at the 2024 Grammys, shortly before which a similar “Error 321” message appeared on her website

The new mural is just the latest way the musician and her team have been getting fans excited for the arrival of Tortured Poets. Swift has also hidden one-word clues about the album in the lyrics to her older songs on Apple Music and unveiled five “Stages of Heartbreak” playlists on the platform, as well as launched a library installation in support of the record with Spotify in Los Angeles. 

See the Tortured Poets mural in Chicago, as well as the video linked through its QR code, below. 

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