It’s hard to believe that Olivia Rodrigo achieved such enormous success so quickly, but she managed to do it while uplifting fellow artists with her! She’s never afraid to shout out someone else’s releases on her Instagram stories or bring acts like Gracie Abrams out on tour. And it’s got us thinking… how can we help uplift her fellow artists? We can’t think of a better way than to recommend some of our favorites, Olivia style! Music suggestions based on SOUR, anyone?
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Now, since Olivia’s discography has so much variety, it can be hard to nail down one specific sound to recommend only one artist in one genre wheelhouse. So we’re gonna give you a recommendation for every song on SOUR because we’re way too extra! Have fun and you might just find your new favorite artist.
‘brutal’ – Briston Maroney’s ‘The Kitchen’
We’re kicking off on an energetic note with an absolute jam by Briston Maroney! Like ‘brutal,’ it opens with a high-octane guitar riff before really getting into it with the thought-provoking lyrics and introspective musings. We also love that despite the harsh sounds on both songs, the lyrics aren’t as heavy as the backing may suggest. See Olivia’s “I can’t even parallel park” and Briston’s “why is my mother scared that I don’t miss her?”
It’s such a funny song in my mind because, during the writing process, I thought it was going to be this super dark, heavy Interpol rock song. Which is always this voice I think I have, and upon recording and singing it, it was a great reminder that really all of the time I’m just a relatively average-sized soft person hahaha. I’m so glad to have this memory out, as it was a big part of the album.
‘traitor’ – Madison Beer’s ‘Reckless’
Madison Beer is one of the better-known artists on our list, but we’ll be damned if we missed an opportunity to boost up one of our favorite pop queens! ‘Reckless’ and ‘traitor’ address a semi-cheating (seemingly full-on cheating in Madison’s case) partner and the pain they caused with their infidelity. And each song opens with a simply ethereal intro – for ‘traitor,’ it’s those gorgeous harmonies, and for ‘Reckless,’ it’s a pretty music box-esque melody.
‘drivers license’ – Alexander 23’s ‘Crash’
There’s a story that ‘drivers license’ and ‘Crash’ tell together… whether it’s just the driving/car crash imagery or something deeper, we’re all for it! Just like ‘drivers license,’ ‘Crash’ is brimming with emotion and detailed lyrics on the verses, only to crescendo into a more energetic chorus that really drives the anguish home. And for the ultimate feels trip, check out the live version Alexander blessed us with!
‘1 step forward, 3 steps back’ – Elko’s ‘dishonest’
Okay, these songs kind of come from opposite spectrums of the pop/alt-pop genre, but hear us out! The repetition of those intro guitar notes that Elko put on ‘dishonest’ kind of reminds us of the piano on ‘1sf, 3sb.’ And lyrically, both songs question their ex-partner and why that person could treat them that way. The frustration and sadness and confusion is real.
‘deja vu’ – Sofía Valdés’ ‘Carbon Copy’
From dreamy intros to feeling like your ex replaced you with someone similar, ‘deja vu’ and ‘Carbon Copy’ are basically long-lost sister songs. Sofía’s voice carries so much vulnerability and raw emotion, making ‘Carbon Copy’ an entire rollercoaster of heartache and haunting memories. Where ‘deja vu’ is mostly sassy and annoyed, ‘Carbon Copy’ feels like that girl went home, got in her feelings after watching a rom-com, and started sobbing in the darkness of her room with fairy lights on.
The song is about a breakup and how it can affect one person, but in this particular case he goes off and finds someone who looks just like me. So it’s basically a song about how I came to grips with losing him, but then having to see myself in another person. The grief of losing someone you love is complicated, but the pain and anxiety surrounding seeing yourself in another woman is devastating.
‘good 4 u’ – phem’s ‘congratulations’
‘congratulations’ to phem for making such an incredible breakup anthem! Like the iconic ‘good 4 u,’ ‘congratulations’ gives all the sass, anger, and frustration you need to feel less alone in one of the most isolating experiences anyone can go through: intense heartbreak. Complete with a feisty guitar line and a trap beat, it’s such an energetic track that you can scream along to in your bedroom alone or with friends taking your mind off the hurt.
‘enough for you’ – Lauren Spencer Smith’s ‘Fingers Crossed’
‘enough for you’ and ‘Fingers Crossed’ never fail to make us sob our eyes out, let’s be real. The guitar on these tracks alone is enough to get us tearing up, and the emotional lyrics about picking up the pieces of a breakup bring it to the next level. And the parallel between Olivia’s “I read all of your self-help books so you’d think that I was smart” and Lauren’s “I gave you my hours and advice just trying to fix you” just breaks us. The pain of putting all your effort into helping someone who wound up hurting you beyond belief is incomparable.
‘happier’ – Emily Deahl’s ‘My Baby Hates Me’
Both ‘happier’ and ‘My Baby Hates Me’ have a modern retro vibe that we can’t get enough of. While Olivia is looking on as her ex finds someone new, Emily is worried that her partner isn’t interested in her anymore. These two songs have this underlying worry of not being fulfilling enough for the person you love, whether they’re still with you or they’ve moved on and left you insecure.
‘jealousy, jealousy’ – carolesdaughter’s ‘Target Practice’
Like Olivia does on ‘jealousy, jealousy,’ carolesdaughter confronts society’s expectations and the pressure it can put on us on ‘Target Practice.’ Sonically, both songs are really driven by their slick basslines, and we’re hooked from the second they start! We love that Olivia and carolesdaughter are never afraid to speak their mind, no matter the subject or how scary it can be. Who do you think we have to bribe for them to collab?
‘favorite crime’ – Allison Ponthier’s ‘Autopilot’
‘favorite crime’ and ‘Autopilot’ almost have the premise of an old Western movie… yeah, it’s a weird metaphor, but that’s how we think of it. On both songs, our heroine starts to blame herself for her pain and fear of making mistakes, all with a thrilling platter of high stakes and intense feelings. The gentle acoustic guitar that opens the song reminds us of the repetitive strumming on ‘favorite crime,’ and its change to a more energetic instrumental mirrors how the story of ‘favorite crime’ gets more and more interesting as you keep listening.
‘Autopilot’ originally started out as a song about my phobia of driving. I’m 26 years old and I’ve had my permit three times, but ultimately the responsibility of driving has always terrified me. While it started out as a song about something silly, it ended up being an exercise to write about my weaknesses. I don’t like to tell people how to interpret my songs, but I think ‘Autopilot’ can take on a double meaning about trying to break through the feeling of going through the motions.
‘hope ur ok’ – Lizzy McAlpine’s ‘reckless driving’ (Feat. Ben Kessler)
That soft guitar vibe on ‘hope ur ok’ feels like a sister to the soft guitar vibe on ‘reckless driving!’ They make both songs so immersive from the moment they start, and the story-driven lyrics only bring them to the next level. While ‘hope ur ok’ touches on things like childhood friendship and hope for a brighter future, ‘reckless driving’ is a reflection on a relationship that Lizzy doesn’t feel fully secure in.
And, of course, with all the driving references on SOUR, ‘reckless driving’ just feels appropriate as our final song recommendation. It’s like wrapping it all up in a little bow!
Us crossing our fingers that you like these recommendations like…