She is back! After two years, Olivia Rodrigo released her follow-up to her Grammy-winning debut album Sour. With the release of “Vampire,” the lead track from her upcoming sophomore album Guts, due on September 8, the singer signaled the start of a new musical period. (It seems like there’s a gory motif here.) The singer uploaded her “Brutal” and “Good 4 u” music videos, which Petra Collins also directed.
In a statement, Rodrigo said, “For me, this album is about growing pains and trying to figure out who I am at this point in my life.” Between the ages of 18 and 20, there was such an incredible amount of change and awkwardness that I felt I had grown ten years ago. Everything is just a normal part of development, and I hope the album represents that.
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Only “Vampire” gives us a first look into the project. Rodrigo starts belting before it expands and soars, and the guitars start shredding; it begins as a somber piano ballad. She sings about someone who exploited her popularity and messed with her emotions with lines like “Bloodsucker, famefucker / Bleeding me dry like a goddamn vampire.”
In another comment, Rodrigo said, “I was upset about a particular circumstance and went to the studio alone and sat down at the grand piano, and the chords and melody and lyrics just poured out of me—almost like an out-of-body experience.”
I initially believed that the song, about feeling hurt and confused, was intended to be a piano ballad. However, when Dan and I worked on it, we paired the lyrics with these loud percussion and wild tempo shifts. Thus, it has transformed into a danceable tune about heartbreak.
— Olivia Rodrigo (@oliviarodrigo) June 29, 2023
Rodrigo’s debut album, which captures the real hardships of a youth, from the intensity of breakups to navigating the scary world of social media, is an apt example of how growing up is similar to spilling your guts.
For the singer, who became hypervisible in her late teens when she dropped her megahit “Drivers License” and became the center of romantic turmoil (including her ex Joshua Bassett and his then-girlfriend Sabrina Carpenter), the frustrations of growing up were even more intense. Since then, Rodrigo—now 20 years old—has changed.
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She admitted to ELLE.com in March 2022, “I’m not as depressed as I was when I wrote Sour. “I can’t wait to record my next album, explore additional hues, textures, and emotions, and further my development as a person. I’m pretty excited about that. We are as well.