Song of the Week – Drivers License, Olivia Rodrigo
“Drivers License” is the debut single by American singer Olivia Rodrigo. It was released on January 8, 2021 by Geffen Records, as the lead single from her upcoming debut EP. Rodrigo and Dan Nigro penned the song, with production from the latter. Containing poignant lyrics detailing heartache, “Drivers License” is an atmospheric power ballad that has been described as a bedroom pop, indie pop and power pop song. It is characterized by its minimalist production built around a piano, incorporating kick drums, harmonies, syncopated hand-claps, and a dreamy bridge.
The song unpacks the “multifaceted” emotions Rodrigo endured after a heartbreak. She teased the song on her social media for many months in 2020, before announcing it on January 4, 2021. The official music video was posted to YouTube alongside the song’s release, in which Rodrigo drives around a suburban area after receiving her driver’s license, and reminisces over her memories of the song’s subject who encouraged her to receive the license. “Drivers License” received widespread acclaim from music critics, who praised Rodrigo’s cathartic songwriting and emotional vocals, and the song’s stirring production; many noted its Taylor Swift and Lorde influences.
“Drivers License” broke a string of records, including the Spotify record for the most single-day streams for a non-holiday song (achieved on its fourth day of release), and the biggest first-week for a song on Spotify and Amazon Music. The song debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100 as one of the most dominant number-one hits in history. It made Rodrigo the youngest artist to score a number-one single in the United States, and the first artist born in the 21st-century to debut at the top spot. Elsewhere, “Drivers License” topped the charts in numerous countries, including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, and Singapore, as well as spending multiple weeks at the top of the charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It also peaked within the top ten in many territories, including Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.
Listen to the song here
Song of the Week Olivia Rodrigo