7 Bands Olivia Rodrigo Fans Should Check Out Next
Olivia Rodrigo’s massive debut single “drivers license” prepared everyone for a debut album packed with pop songs that can easily break your heart. When Rodrigo unveiled the third single from her album Sour, “good 4 u,” it immediately foreshadowed another side of her music — a side with Avril Lavigne energy. The song (which just debuted at #1 on the Hot 100) has riffs, Rodrigo’s voice is sassy and cheeky, and the lyrics are looking for trouble. The verses continuously build up to an explosive chorus; it could be considered pop-punk.
Punk fans took notice of how many moments like this made it onto Sour. The album kicks off with “brutal,” a relentless, razor-sharp pop anthem sprinkled with punk and indie rock elements. It’s a fast-paced track with dynamic guitar and an angry singer full of genius quips: “And I’m so tired that I might/ Quit my job, start a new life/ And they’d all be so disappointed/ ‘Cause who am I, if not exploited?”
It’s interesting to see this kind of sound at such a large scale of popularity. For a lot of younger or less plugged-in listeners, Rodrigo’s record could become a gateway into more underground pop-punk and indie rock artists. With that in mind, hi! As a site that covers bands like that every day, let us be your guide. There are a ton of current acts that will appeal to fans of Sour‘s loudest moments. Check out seven examples below.
Pom Pom Squad
Brooklyn’s Pom Pom Squad (pictured above) are an essential listen for music lovers allured by songs that are as emotional as they are infectious. Mia Berrin’s confessions of depression and heartbreak are always cushioned with lighthearted quips: “I’m feelin’ empty/ Fuck the MTA/ I always miss my train.” Plus, if you liked the “good 4 u” music video that was adorned with cheerleading imagery, you’ll adore Pom Pom Squad’s entire aesthetic, which can be summed up by the fact that their debut record is titled Death Of A Cheerleader. This band’s music maintains a Sour-like balance of poetically devastating and catchy.
A lot of people online have been drawing the comparison between “brutal” and Illuminati Hotties’ fierce single “will i get cancelled if i write a song called, ‘if you were a man you’d be so cancelled.'” Sarah Tudzin takes on an unhinged character whose lyrics are as witty and succinct as Rodrigo’s: “Let’s smash to a podcast/ Tomorrow mornin’ we’re cryin’ into a Denny’s grand slam/ Of a kickback.” It’s liberating to put on and scream along to. The entirety of Free IH: This Is Not The One You’ve Been Waiting For presents a vital mix of pop and punk perfect for any Rodrigo fan.
Don’t sleep on Mannequin Pussy. The release of their 2019 sophomore effort Patience was a celebratory moment for the Philadelphia group; their contrast of punk anthems against indie rock ballads caught people’s attention immediately. If you like the riffs in Rodrigo’s “brutal,” you’ll enjoy “Drunk II” or “Romantic.” Even if you prefer her piano ballads, there’s tons of Mannequin Pussy songs for you, like “Fear/+/Desire,” “In Love Again,” or “Darling.”
While they don’t yet have a full record, Baltimore’s Pinkshift have been pulling people in easily with their fiery singles. “i’m gonna tell my therapist on you” is perfect for any Olivia Rodrigo fan who needs a vengeful breakup anthem to make them feel better. Ashrita Kumar’s vocals are sharp and theatrical, determined to work past whoever brought her down. “Mars” is another moment of pop-punk greatness; their entire EP Saccharine is as empowering as it is catchy.
The Sonder Bombs
With their 2018 debut MODERN FEMALE ROCKSTAR, Cleveland-based group the Sonder Bombs broke through into the DIY emo scene. Their songs are painful, reckoning with depression and overcoming trauma. Their following record Clothbound showed growth with intense pop-punk tracks and slower, more intimate ballads. “The Brink” is a highlight within the more upbeat songs, as well as the pro-emotion anthem “Crying Is Cool”: “Crying is cool/ Whenever you need to/ I’ll be there for you.” The Sonder Bombs are for anyone who want to indulge themselves in a catharsis, whether it be by crying or by dancing.
California punks Hoity-Toity are underrated. Their 2017 single “Opus” brings to mind Paramore’s “Decode” — dark, emo-tinged pop-punk with vicious vocals and an explosive chorus. Their sonically vibrant 2019 EP Not Your Kind has more colors. Shelby Muniz’s voice is clean and smooth, especially on “Y’know” when she recounts a harmful relationship: “Please don’t leave me tonight/ But I need you to go.”
Mint Green, hailing from Boston, make mid-tempo emo songs that aren’t at all stunted by a less-than-pop-punk pace. The instruments are all at work, but the atmosphere is more gloomy and the lyrics are sharp, like on “Take Care”: “Bite my fingers ’til they bleed/ Your sympathy is something I don’t need.” Each song on their two EPs is an intense emotional rollercoaster, and they’re worth the ride.