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Wait, Is Charli XCX Singing About Taylor Swift On This New Song?

“This one girl taps my insecurities.”

Welcome to Charli XCX’s dizzying night club. On her latest Brat album, the singer leads her own Von Dutch-clad boiler room like a natural. However, rumbling under those neon-lit melodies are lyrics about how her musical peers — and the competitive nature of the music industry — still make her have self-doubts. That theme shines on “Girl, So Confusing,” which is rumored to be about Lorde. Now, fans believe Charli’s aiming at another potential target: Taylor Swift.

On the glitchy “Sympathy Is a Knife,” Charli wails about a woman who “taps [her] insecurities.” She starts to spiral, and asks people around her — including her fiancé, George Daniel — if she’s being “paranoid” or if her feelings are valid. No one seems to truly understand her thoughts, and the sympathy she’s looking for becomes more harmful than nurturing.

Charli doesn’t explicitly name Swift on the track; however, one detail seems to lead that way. In the second verse, the singer adds a bit more detail to the woman in question: She’s dating someone in her fiancé’s band, The 1975. She sings, “Don’t wanna see her backstage at my boyfriend’s show / Fingers crossed behind my back, I hope they break up quick.”

As widely known, Swift had a two-month fling with 1975’s Matty Healy in the summer 2023. Also, Charli referring to Daniel as her “boyfriend” fits into this timeline. The two didn’t get engaged until November of that year, five months after Swift and Healy called it quits.

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This isn’t the first time Charli has been tied to Swift. The Brat singer first made a surprise appearance on Swift’s 1989 tour in 2015. Then, three years later, Charli elevated to opener status on the Reputation tour. It seemed the duo were in each other’s good graces; however, some fans didn’t appreciate Charli’s later quotes about opening for Swift.

In an August 2019 interview with Pitchfork, Charli compared that gig to “playing to a bunch of 5-year-olds.” Shortly after, the singer released a statement clarifying her comment, saying that it was “taken out of context” and that she was “grateful” for those memories. She’s recently sang Swift her praises for her Eras Tour, calling the ever-evolving range of shows “amazing.”

Though traces of “Sympathy Is a Knife” feel like a nod to Swift, it doesn’t seem the two are on bad terms. But similar to other Swifties, the singer might’ve not been the biggest fan of Swift and Healy’s brief relationship.