Olivia Rodrigo left an indelible mark during her performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk. The 20-year-old “Vampire” artist presented a captivating four-track set from her second album, GUTS, sharing anecdotes about the songs in the process.
Opening with a powerful rendition of “Love Is Embarrassing,” Rodrigo reminisced about her previous Tiny Desk performance two years ago during the height of the pandemic, humorously recalling the less glamorous setting at the DMV. Expressing her awe at NPR’s performance space, she declared, “It’s much cooler to be here. I’ve never been star-struck by a room before, so this is a huge honor.”
She revealed that “Love Is Embarrassing” was the last addition to GUTS, inspired by moments of self-reflection in bed, replaying cringe-worthy memories. Transitioning seamlessly, Rodrigo introduced “Vampire,” the lead single from GUTS, composed in a mere 20-30 minutes but meticulously refined over a month with producer Dan Nigro. The NPR rendition showcased a stripped-down arrangement with Rodrigo at the piano and a haunting three-person choir.
The pop sensation proceeded to present “Lacy,” a track born from a poem written for a USC poetry class. Rodrigo explained her unique approach to songwriting, taking a complete set of lyrics and adding a melody, resulting in one of her favorite songs on the album. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a celestial choir, Rodrigo’s performance of “Lacy” resonated with ethereal beauty.
Closing the set with the poignant “Making the Bed,” Rodrigo shared the song’s origins in New York City and its theme of taking accountability for one’s actions. Reflecting on the new album’s overarching theme of responsibility, she conveyed how the song grapples with the realization of being in situations that did not bring her ultimate happiness or peace.
Looking ahead, Rodrigo announced her 2024 GUTS world tour, commencing on February 23 in Palm Springs, California. The 57-date tour will traverse North America and Europe, featuring prominent cities such as New York, Miami, Toronto, London, and Paris before concluding with back-to-back concerts in her hometown of Los Angeles on August 13 and 14 at the Kia Forum. Opening acts for the tour include The Breeders, PinkPantheress, Chappell Roan, and Remi Wolf.