“Sometimes when you break up with someone and watch them live the life they lived [with you] with another partner, that can be really frustrating. I think that’s a universal, relatable thing that happens,” teenage singer-songwriter explains
Olivia Rodrigo is out with her new single “Deja Vu,” off her upcoming debut album, out May 21st.
Rodrigo begins the song by listing a series of romantic memories with a partner: “Car ride to Malibu/Strawberry ice cream/One spoon for two,” she sings above an idyllic chorus of la-la-las. She wonders if her former partner’s new lover knows that these are all the things she used to do with her ex. “Do you get deja vu when she’s with you?” she asks on the chorus. The song grows bigger as it goes on, leading up to a chorus of gang vocals on the bridge/outro. “Play her piano but she doesn’t know/That I was the one that taught you Billy Joel/A different girl now but there’s nothing new/I know you get deja vu,” she sings.
The video opens with Rodrigo driving through Malibu with strawberry ice cream before ending up at a mossy home. Inside, she sees a girl (played by Talia Ryder) trying on a green dress. After leaving the first house, she goes back to her home and reveals that she has the exact same dress. From there, Rodrigo and Ryder swap places in the same scenes and outfits as Rodrigo watches them all on a pile of old television sets. The video ends with the same opening scene, this time with Ryder driving the car.
Rodrigo co-wrote the song with Dan Nigro, who also produced her hit lead single “Drivers License.” The pair penned the song in one day last fall and have played with different versions of it ever since. “I’m really obsessed with the concept of deja vu and I think it’s such a cool, psychedelic, awesome thing,” she tells Rolling Stone. Rodrigo gets deja vu all the time and thought it would be a great metaphor to use for a relationship. “Sometimes when you break up with someone and watch them live the life they lived [with you] with another partner, that can be really frustrating. I think that’s a universal, relatable thing that happens,” she says.
Rodrigo released her debut single “Drivers License” in January. The song became a Number One hit and reigned on the charts until March. Prior to releasing her own music, the 18-year-old singer-songwriter came up through Disney. She currently stars in the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.