Taylor Swift may be in the midst of her biggest tour ever, but she’s continuing to bless us with new music. On April 28, her latest song, “The Alcott,” dropped on The National’s latest record, First Two Pages of Frankenstein. Taylor teams up with the band on the track, singing alongside Matt Beringer. The song tells the story of former lovers who have reunited at a place that meant something to them in their relationship. Upon reconnecting, they realize the feelings may still be there.
The track opens up with Matt singing about coming across his former lover at The Alcott. “There you are, sittin’ as usual, with your golden notebook, writing something about someone, who used to be me,” he croons. Taylor joins him in the chorus, which concludes with the lyric, “It’s the last thing you wanted, it’s the first thing I do, I tell you that I think I’m fallin’ back in love with you.”
By the second chorus, Matt and Taylor continue a back and forth, with him singing about his feelings, and her responding with a question. “Could it be easy this once?” she wonders. “Everything that’s mine is a landmine. Did my love aid and abet you?” By the bridge, it appears Taylor is coming around to reconnecting, as well, as she sings, “Why don’t you rain on my parade? Shred my evening gown. Read my sentences out loud. Cause I love this curse on our house.”
🎤| Taylor Swift and Aaron Dessner performing "The Great War" pic.twitter.com/iVv39rE8q3
— The Swift Society (@TheSwiftSociety) April 15, 2023
Of the song, Matt previously said, “It’s about two people with a long history returning to a place and trying to relive a certain moment in time. It’s got the feeling of a last-ditch effort to hold onto the relationship, but there’s a hint of something positive where you can see the beginnings of a reconnection.”
Taylor’s connection to The National began when she started working on her album Folklore in 2020. She connected with The National’s Aaron Dessner, who began sending her tracks, which she wrote lyrics to and included on the album. The two teamed up once again on her Dec. 2020 album, Evermore, which also featured a duet with The National called “Coney Island.” Taylor has also worked with Aaron’s other band, Big Red Machine, on their 2021 album, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? She sang on two tracks from the record, while Aaron’s bandmate, Bon Iver (Justin Vernon), is featured on the songs “Exile” and “Evermore” from Folklore and Evermore, respectively. Aaron worked with Taylor on Midnights, as well as Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version), as well.