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.
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