Saturday, January 30, 2021

Olivia Rodrigo delivers astonishing vocals in new track 'Drivers Licence'

Seventeen-year-old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Olivia Rodrigo has taken the world by a storm with her debut single ‘Drivers License’. Landing her a No.1 on the Billboard chart, the track rose to global success after going viral on TikTok.

The song begins with sounds of a car starting up inside, immediately creating an intimate setting – we may as well be sat in the passenger seat. The lyrics describe that first, devastating heartbreak, with Rodrigo questioning “how could I ever love someone else?” and comparing herself to her ex’s new partner – “she’s everything I’m insecure about”.

While it would be easy for some critics to write this song off as ‘just some teenager singing about love’, that simply is not the case. Rodrigo shows an incredible maturity in handling a delicate subject that surpasses age. 

With its raw emotional honesty, ‘Drivers License’ speaks to people across all walks of life, hence its overwhelming popularity, and Rodrigo’s use of driving as an extended metaphor is inspired because, like heartbreak, it is something that a lot of people can understand and relate to. After all, getting your drivers license is as important a milestone as experiencing your first heartbreak. Rodrigo’s song-writing prowess has caught the attention of other artists too, notably one Taylor Swift. Given Swift’s own phenomenal success writing about love and heartbreak as a teenager, this is a huge endorsement and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

The lyrics are one thing, but Rodrigo’s powerful vocal performance on this track is what delivers its killing blow. Building gracefully throughout the song, Rodrigo belts in the second chorus, “I guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me’, releasing her fury at her ex, or maybe just the situation. However, she also does not shy away from more vulnerable moments in the song, particularly demonstrated during the middle eight and final chorus, where she uses her head voice to both reminisce over her past relationship and express her sadness again. 

By flipping so effortlessly between the two, Rodrigo again shows her maturity and emotional intelligence, which so often goes unrecognised or underappreciated in young female artists. In one song, she manages to fully encapsulate the whirlwind of emotions that a break up brings: anger, confusion, sadness, but also happiness at what has been.

I love the use of the piano in this track, which provides both the main chord support in verses and an arpeggiated melody in the chorus, as it hearkens back to more traditional pop ballads, which this undoubtedly is. While soaring synth strings and swells are used to pull on the listeners’ heart strings, the use of syncopated hand claps as the main form of percussion brings a more fun and modern twist. 

If this is the kind of original music that Rodrigo can produce at the start of her career, I, for one, am genuinely excited about what she will bring out next.


Ellie Insley

@ellie_insley

Image: variety.com


1 comment:

  1. Olivia Rodrigo is one of my favorite vocalists among all the young artists. As I am a big fan of modern-day music and love to use them in my Tiktok videos, that is the reason that her songs attracted me more. Well, I have been struggling with my academics these days, but as soon as I find UK assignment help online, I will surely share some new videos with her vocals.

    ReplyDelete

Comment Here;