olivia rodrigo
Music

Why everyone should be listening to Olivia Rodrigo

It’s been over two weeks since Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album ‘Sour’ was released, and its still currently topping UK charts. On top of this, before ‘Sour’ came out, Olivia released ‘Drivers License’, ‘Deja Vu’ and ‘Good 4 U’. All 3 songs broke records and combined with the multitude of lip-syncing TikTok videos, the young song-writer has shot to fame in a matter of time.

So why should you be listening to Olivia?

Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia’s success as an artist, musician and singer-songwriter is a testament to her ability of creating passionate and emotional music that simultaneously tells a story.

Take ‘Drivers License‘ as an example. The song begins with a car door alarm and the jangle of keys, something that is characteristically human and almost boringly mundane. The car alarm fades into the sound of the piano maintaining the pitch and rhythm throughout the song, serving as a persistent reminder of a car alarm, symbolizing her current state of unhappiness. And so already, before Olivia has even taken breath and sung, the craftsmanship of ‘Drivers License’ is something so distinct and unique to her, that even if you don’t like the song and its story, you should still listen to the undeniable talented authorship and creation. Let’s face it, using a car alarm in a song is pretty unique.

Once Olivia starts singing, her melodic and wistful tone permeates the lyrics until it culminates into the chorus evoking themes of lost love and sadness with “you said forever now I drive alone past your street”. This poignant line juxtaposes the concept of forever with loneliness, and the full impact of this line is fully appreciated at the end of the song, as its sung in silence. Co-written with Dan Nigro, the act of driving is used as a metaphor to help Olivia realize and understand her disconcerting and often disorientating feelings after a breakup; and this metaphor is reinforced by the persistent piano in the background mimicking the car alarm sound.

Oh and the irony after this song was released? Olivia got a parking ticket.

In contrast to ‘Drivers License’, ‘Good 4 u’ has an entirely different tone and mood. Olivia’s sarcastic tone directed towards her ex is as a result of him moving on too fast after their breakup. However, just like the exploratory craftsmanship in ‘Drivers License’, this experimental creation is carried over to ‘Good 4 u’ with the use of drums and guitars, a similar vibe to Paramore, to symbolize her anger towards her ex.

Also, the music video for ‘Good 4 u’ references the 2009 film ‘Jennifer’s Body’. In this film the camera focuses on Jennifer’s face and her red eyes whilst in a lake. Similarly, Olivia’s music video ends with her being in a lake with red eyes. As a result of Olivia’s experimental craftsmanship and song-writing choices her songs aren’t just about telling a story, they are a work of art in itself, with every detail deliberately chosen to create stunning pieces of both audio and visual content.

Despite Olivia’s age, her songs and album ‘Sour’ exemplifies her ability to experiment, create and write songs. By writing about universal emotions, Olivia targets a wide range of people – meaning, if you’re not already, you really should be listening to her.

Author

  • Ellie Sheehan (Author)

    I'm about to start my third and final year at the University of Exeter, studying Classical Studies and English. I write regularly on my own personal blog and I'm on the Her Campus Exeter Committee as a Sex and Relationships Editor. I love writing about music, art, culture, relationships and current news.

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