Olivia Rodrigo knows that the only thing scarier than a real ghost is the ghost of relationships past. For BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, the singer and songwriter performed four songs against a tattered, haunted house-channeling backdrop, including the fittingly spooky single “Vampire” from her recently released album Guts.
It’s Live Lounge tradition for artists to perform a cover during their appearance, and Rodrigo used the opportunity to deliver her rendition of Noah Kahan’s “Stick Season.” Joined by a full backing band, the singer tried on the song as if it were her own, settling into its cutting lyrics and singing: “And I saw your mom, she forgot that I existed/And it’s half my fault, but I just like to play the victim.”
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Elsewhere in the set, Rodrigo toyed with the narrative delivery of “Get Him Back!” with the help of some backing vocalists who leaned into the song’s conversational flow. “Everyone knew, that guy was missing a screw,” she sang, swapping out the original lyric about being warned of “all the shit that he’d do.”
And because she couldn’t make her debut on the live performance series when her career as a singer and songwriter first took off essentially overnight, Rodrigo took it back to the very beginning with “Drivers License.” No instrumentalists or backing vocalists joined her for the song — it was just her, her piano, and those unmistakable, melancholy-drenched lyrics.
“I connect to who I used to be, and it makes me sad. I’m like, ‘What are you crying about, girl?’ I’m also like, ‘Ha-ha, you don’t even know, it gets so much better,'” she recently told Rolling Stone in her cover story. “I saw Stevie Nicks singing ‘Landslide’ to this huge stadium of people. Not that ‘Drivers License’ is ‘Landslide,’ by any means. But I was like, ‘Damn.’ That heartbreak that you feel when you’re young, thinking about singing that song when I’m Stevie Nicks’ age … it’s really powerful.”
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