Pop punk turns sweet and SOUR

Serena Sherwood, Editorial Board Member

Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album SOUR was a glitter-gel-pen-written masterpiece, full of songs that could heal your heart while breaking it. Her debut single, “drivers license” brought us all into our feels, and Rodrigo continued to delight with her third single, “good 4 u” channeling Avril Lavigne with an early 2000’s punk angst beat. Being “so sick of seventeen,” she brings on the angst with head-bopping guitars and scream-worthy lyrics. but also tones it down with songs like “traitor”, “favorite crime”, and “enough for you”, encased in acoustic guitar and mascara-running cry session lyrics. Anyone who listens to the album–whether or not you’re actually seventeen–can relate to the lyrics, the vibes, and the message of coping with love, loss, and moving on 

Those tracks with her relentless, unparalleled voice bring pop-punk to a 2021 level, but Rodrigo isn’t the only artist to revive the pop-punk teenage love sentiments. Maggie Lindemann and WILLOW are two influential artists who reflect both the blasts of bitterness that show up in “good 4 u” and the teenage turbulence in “jealousy, jealousy.” Now that pop music has been shifted into an age where Spotify dominates over the radio, and TikTok can make virtually unknown artists go viral overnight, the influences from the prior era are clear, but have given way to a new era of pop-punk: one that’s both sweet pop and tart SOUR