Song of the Week: It’s All Bad Blood for Olivia Rodrigo on “vampire”

Honorable mentions include Small Crush, Empty Country, Oscar Lang, and more

olivia rodrigo vampire song of the week
Olivia Rodrigo, photo by Larissa Hofmann

    Song of the Week delves into the fresh songs we just can’t get out of our heads. Find these tracks and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist, and for our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Olivia Rodrigo sinks her teeth in with “vampire.” 

    There’s something deeply frustrating about the cycles young women are put through time and time again in the entertainment world. The latest rising starlet or singer, shiny and bright, is beloved — until she reaches oversaturation, when people pick her apart. Often within that same timeframe, an older man comes into the picture, and it feels weird, but everyone kind of shrugs and moves on. Our rising star finds her light severely dimmed by the time the whirlwind process is over, and then it repeats with the next one.

    Olivia Rodrigo, at all of 20 years old, seems determined to break that cycle.

    “vampire” is Rodrigo’s first new music since the chart-topping 2021 smash SOUR, a record that set her on the aforementioned path to fame and all its joys and trappings, complete with the older boyfriend who appeared when she was just 18. This relationship, and some of the other frustrations that come with being thrust in the spotlight in an even grander way than she anticipated, are the subject of this first taste of her forthcoming record, GUTS.


    “Every girl I ever talked to told me you were bad, bad news/ You called them crazy, God, I hate the way I called them crazy too/ You’re so convincing/ How do you lie without flinching?” she asks on the track, describing a manipulative partner before digging further into the dynamic: “Went for me and not her, because girls your age know better.”

    Sonically, it’s not a huge leap for Rodrigo — “vampire” could easily slot itself into SOUR, but the fact that she didn’t feel the need to completely revamp her sound is refreshing in its own way, too. For an artist still so young, both in age and in the scope of their career, she’s giving herself the space to develop her sound as she sees fit, and she has clearly historically felt at home in this edgy pop space, tinged with hallmarks and nods to artists like Paramore and Taylor Swift who laid the groundwork for a deeply personal, confessional songwriting style.

    As with much of her other work, “vampire” makes us feel like we’re being let in on a secret. And, while the premise of the song indicates that this nightmare relationship has bled her dry, she’s never sounded more alive.


    Mary Siroky
    Associate Editor

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