The perfect partnership. Taylor Swift teamed up with The National on their latest album — and fans are already dissecting the heartbreaking duet following her split from Joe Alwyn.
The “Lavender Haze” singer, 33, sings with Matt Berninger on “The Alcott,” which dropped on Friday, April 28, as part of the band’s ninth record, First Two Pages of Frankenstein. The ballad paints a picture of two former lovers reflecting on the end of a relationship in a similar fashion to Swift’s “Coney Island.” (Berninger, 52, also appears on the 2020 Evermore track.)
“I get myself twisted in threads to meet you at The Alcott / I’d go to the corner in the back where you’d always be / And there you are, sittin’ as usual with your golden notebook / Writing something about someone who used to be me,” he begins in the new song.
Swift joins in on the chorus: “And the last thing you wanted is the first thing I do / I tell you my problems, you tell me the truth / It’s the last thing you wanted, it’s the first thing I do / I tell you that I think I’m falling back in love with you.”
When the refrain repeats elsewhere in the tune, Swift’s voice echoes after each line. “Tell me, which side are you on, dear? / Give me some tips to forget you,” she sings. “Have I become one of your problems? / Could it be easy this once?”
As the bridge kicks in, the duo take turns crooning: “I’ll ruin it all over (Why don’t you rain on my parade?) / I’ll ruin it over for you (Shred my evenin’ gown) / I’ll ruin it all over (Read my sentence out loud) / And over like I always do (‘Cause I love this curse on our house).”
Swift has been a longtime fan of the rock band, which consists of Berninger and brothers Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessneras well as brothers Scott Devendorf and Bryan Devendorf. Aaron, 47, previously collaborated with the Pennsylvania native on her albums Folklore, Evermore and Midnightsand recently made a surprise appearance to perform with Swift on her Eras Tour in Florida.
“The Alcott” is one of the first bits of new music fans have heard from Swift following her split from Alwyn, 32. Us Weekly confirmed earlier this month that the couple called it quits after six years together, with a source exclusively revealing that “fame factored into” the breakup.
“Joe is very shy and never liked all of the attention that came with dating one of the most popular singers in the world,” the insider told Usnoting that the Conversations With Friends star never “blamed” Swift for her star status. “He just didn’t like having to be on all of the time.”
Neither Swift nor Alwyn have publicly addressed their split, but the Cats actress has been enjoying reconnecting with her fans on her first tour in several years — and she’s “optimistic” about what’s next.
“She truly believes whatever is meant to be, will be, and knows everything happens for a reason,” a second source told Usnoting that the Grammy winner is “enjoying her freedom” and “isn’t even thinking about getting into another relationship anytime soon.”