It’s time to stock up on tin foil like it’s toilet paper in March 2020, because the theories and discussion around Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn‘s rumored breakup after six-ish years as a couple are a-swirlin’ so vigorously you need water wings to stay above water. Don’t feel like you have the face shape to pull off a hat with full confidence? Fine, fine, a ball of yarn and some thumbtacks will do in a pinch.
Swift closed out her three-night run in Arlington, Texas on April 4, with the next planned stop on the Eras tour landing in Tampa, Florida on April 13. Reports of the split soft-launched on Saturday, April 8, with unnamed sources telling ET and People that “the relationship had run its course.” (Vanity Fair has reached out to Swift’s reps for comment.) Swift and Alwyn themselves haven’t released official comment or confirmation as of yet, but then, they wouldn’t—they’ve kept their public presence as opaque as the layers upon layers of pantyhose and nude fishnets Swift has made her signature onstage. Impenetrable. Very shiny. Probably both very supportive and weirdly relieving to take off at the end of the day, at the same time.
So where in the world is Taylor Swift in this week-long break from stage shows, as fans murmur “I hope she’s okay” to no one in particular while they listen to “Love Story” for the nth time on their commute? It would appear she’s blowing up buildings and googling herself.
Swift was spotted Sunday across the pond in Liverpool, according to a report in The Sun, shooting a music video for an as-yet-unrevealed track. With actress Joey King, who also appeared in the video for Swift’s “how dare you?” country-pop anthem “Mean,” on-site, Swift was spotted by paparazzi in what one captioned “boom smash and grab” on Twitter, with production simulating an explosion at the historic Cunard Building, with Swift maybe….stealing a painting? At the very least, she’s running like she got caught on the Beanie Baby forums after bedtime, with a large canvas under her arm. The production also reportedly filmed over the long weekend at St. George’s Hall in the area. Could one call this…“Vigilante Shit”?
There’s nothing Swift loves more than an Easter egg, so it seems fitting that when she wasn’t filming, she spent some downtime checking her mentions on TikTok. Call it proof of life, call it a reach, call it what you want, but Swift’s account dropped an approving “like” on a TikTok compilation of tour clips from a fan saying they couldn’t “wait 2 see her soon,” and another of a family dancing to “Karma” in a kitchen under a decorative cabbage garland (obviously). She lives! Karma is her boyfriend!
Swift’s not the only one googling herself: So are the masses. Her albums are on the rise on the iTunes charts, with Midnights currently clocking in the No. 12 spot, Folklore at 27, Lover at 30, Reputation at 43, Evermore at 58, and 1989 at 65 on the overall chart, but absolutely dominating the service’s pop album chart: Midnights is No. 1, Lover is No. 3, Reputation No. 5, and 1989 No. 8. Notably, all of these but 1989 are of what we might call the “Alwyn Era.” (And 1989 is a no-skips classic, so can’t blame that one for charting at any time.) We think we know that Alwyn also co-wrote some of the songs across the albums, credited under the pseudonym William Bowery, including “Exile,” “Betty,” “Champagne Problems,” “Coney Island,” “Evermore,” and “Sweet Nothing.” “Champagne Problems” and “Betty” have consistently been on Swift’s Eras setlists so far, and it’s been noted that in recent shows, “Invisible String,” which is a mush-o-rama ode to soulmates and includes references to Alwyn’s teenage job at a yogurt shop (which, it cannot be said often enough, was apparently called Snogs??), has been replaced with breakup anthem “The 1,” which has much less yogurt, but does include the line “the greatest loves of all time are over now.”
Meanwhile, Tampa is preparing itself for Swift’s stay, with Florida’s Hillsborough County temporarily declaring itself “Swiftsborough.” Here’s to hoping their tin foil supply is accordingly stocked. If anyone happens to be near New York’s Cornelia Street in the meantime, you may want to bring protective gear and/or an orthopedist, due to all the falling to knees happening around those parts.