Why Phoebe Bridgers Fans Are Convinced She's Alluding to Paul Mescal Breakup in New Song

Amid breakup rumors with Paul Mescal, Phoebe Bridgers’ latest song “Ghost in the Machine” with SZA has fans speculating that the lyrics refer to the Normal People actor.

By Alexandra Bellusci Dec 22, 2022 7:12 PMTags
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When it comes to her relationship with Paul Mescal, Phoebe Bridgers' fans think they know the end.

Amid rumors that the "Kyoto" singer and the Normal People actor have split after two years together, fans are turning to the lyrics on Phoebe's recent song with SZA for proof. In the track, "Ghost in the Machine," from SZA's new album SOS, the 28-year-old alludes to an argument at The Ludlow Hotel in New York City.

"You said all of my friends are on my payroll / You're not wrong, you're an a--hole," the lyrics read. "Screaming at you in the Ludlow / I was yours for free," and "on my own in an airport bar or hotel lobby."

And the "I Know the End" singer even revealed that the lyrics were written fairly recently, noting that the collaboration occurred just before the album's release.

"SZA just hit me up, she just sent me a DM," Phoebe told NME Dec. 16. "It all happened so fast."

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She continued, "I wasn't really used to that in the pop world, because vinyl isn't so much of a consideration until way later, it's just like, 'Do you want to be on this record? OK, it's out next week', which I really like. I like that turnaround time."

Phoebe and Paul, 26, first connected on social media in 2020, as the musician explained to NME magazine at the time that she thought Paul was a "cute boy" after becoming a fan of his in Normal People. She said she later followed him on Instagram, with the actor hitting follow back soon after.



Taylor Hill/WireImage

At the time the "Motion Sickness" singer gushed, "I got a little pitter-patter in my heart when I saw."

That same year, Paul starred in the music video for Phoebe's song "Savior Complex," which she made a cameo in.

After sparking romance rumors for nearly a year and a half, Phoebe and The Aftersun star seemingly confirmed their relationship on the red carpet for the 10th annual LACMA Art+Film Gala in Los Angeles in Nov. 2021. The singer made things Instagram official just a month later with a sweet selfie of her and Paul.


Taylor Hill/Getty Images for The Ally Coalition

Over the summer, Paul even made another appearance in one of Phoebe's music videos, with a cameo in her "Sidelines" music video in June. And just three months later he gave fans a glimpse into their relationship by revealing their movie selections.

"We do have the same taste, but it's also really fun to take your partner to something which is not their world," he told People in September. "It's cool to sit in at the Women Talking world premiere with your partner and get to experience that together and talk about it after."

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