Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Sour’ Breakthrough

Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Sour’ Breakthrough

06/04/2021

For the past few years, there’s been something of a pop star vacuum — or at least, a pop-music star vacuum. By and large, performers making centrist, big-tent pop music have been relegated to the sidelines as hip-hop — and other genres borrowing heavily from it — took center stage.

But Olivia Rodrigo, a Disney child star wielding a bad breakup and a tart voice, has made pop primal, and primary, again. “Sour,” her first album, just debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with the biggest sales week of the year.

On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about Rodrigo’s meteoric year so far, the long arc of the mainstreaming of emo and the quickening of the maturing of Disney idols.

Guests:

Olivia Horn, who writes about music for Pitchfork, The New York Times and others

Lindsay Zoladz, who writes about music for The New York Times and others

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