Fans Think Charli XCX References Taylor Swift, Matty Healy in New Song

Did Charli XCX Shade Taylor Swift and Matty Healy in New Song

Taylor Swift and Charli XCX
George Pimentel/LP5/Getty Images for TAS

Some Charli XCX fans think that a song off her new album, Brat, proves that she was rooting for Taylor Swift and Matty Healy to break up.

“Don’t wanna see her backstage at my boyfriend’s show / Fingers crossed behind my back, I hope they break up quick,” Charli, 31, sings on “Sympathy Is a Knife.”

The lyric stood out to fans because Charli is engaged to The 1975 drummer George Daniel, and Swift, 34, memorably had a whirlwind romance with Healy, 35, the band’s lead singer, in the spring of 2023.

“Wait is sympathy is a knife about Taylor — her boyfriend is in the 1975 … and Taylor was with Matt Healy for that blip,” one X user pointed out.

Elsewhere in the tune, Charli admits, “this one girl taps my insecurities” and sings about not wanting to “share this space” with someone she feels less-than around.

“’Cause I couldn’t even be her if I tried / I’m opposite, I’m on the other side / I feel all these feelings I can’t control / Oh no, don’t know why all this sympathy is just a knife / Why I can’t even grit my teeth and lie?” she sings during the chorus.

When one X user questioned, “Unironically, is this Taylor Shade … ” alongside a screenshot of the song’s lyrics, another fan pointed out that the song is about insecurity, not hatred.

Did Charli XCX Shade Taylor Swift and Matty Healy in New Song 3

Matty Healy
Scott Legato/WireImage

“It’s not shade the entire song Charlie is saying she’s insecure bc of Taylor,” the X user argued. “And the ‘sympathy is a knife’ because Taylor is nice to her and she feels like s—t that she’s so insecure about her lol.”

While Charli has neither confirmed nor denied who the song is about, she took to TikTok last month to assure fans that there aren’t any “diss tracks” on Brat, which was released on Friday, June 7, “apart from ‘Von Dutch’ which kind of is.”

The “360” singer explained that some of the songs which might seem shady are “really just about how it’s so complicated being an artist, especially a female artist, where you are pitted against your peers but also expected to be best friends with every single person constantly and if you’re not, you’re, like, deemed a bad feminist.”

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She added that the songs speak to the fact that women artists can feel “on top of the world” one day and “unbelievably insecure” the next.

Swift isn’t the only artist who some listeners think Charli references on Brat. Some have theorized that the song “Girl, So Confusing” is about Lorde.

“People say we’re alike, they say we’ve got the same hair / One day we might make some music, the internet would go crazy / But you might still wanna see me falling over and failing,” Charli sings.

She also recounts “awkward” dinner dates with the subject of the song, noting they “don’t have much in common” despite pretending otherwise.

“You’re all about writing poems, but I’m about throwing parties / Think you should come to my party and put your hands up,” she sings.

During a Wednesday, June 5, appearance on Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers’ “Las Culturistas” podcast, Charli said she hasn’t “quite decided whether I’m revealing” who “Girl, So Confusing” is about.

“People are going to guess. I feel like you both probably have an accurate guess,” she teased before defending the point of the song.

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“I don’t think that you become a bad feminist if you maybe don’t see eye to eye with every single woman. That’s just, like, not the nature of human beings,” she said.

Lorde, 27, seemingly shut down any speculation of bad blood between her and Charli by praising Brat via her Instagram Story early on Friday.

“The only album I’ve ever presaved is out today … Charli just cooked this one different,” she wrote. “So much grit, grace & skin in the game. I speak for all of us when I say it’s an honor to be moved, changed and gagged by her work. There is NO ONE like this bitch.”

Swift, meanwhile, previously showed her support for Charli by inviting her to be an opener on her Reputation Stadium Tour in 2018. Charli sparked backlash in August 2019 when she told Pitchfork that the experience “felt like I was getting up on stage and waving to 5-year-olds.”

She later clarified the comments in a statement shared via X, saying the quote came from “a much wider conversation” and was “boiled down into one kind of weird sentence” that seemed shady.

“As I say in the article and have said many times before, I am extremely grateful to Taylor for inviting me to open for her,” she wrote. “She’s one of the biggest artists of my generation and the reputation tour was one of the biggest tours in history.”

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