Olivia Rodrigo‘s “Vampire” single opens with the melancholy sound of the singer initially whisper-singing the song’s biting lyrics over a gently played piano. By the end of the first chorus, though, as her voice rises, she’s suddenly bolstered by a thrumming beat, strings and a bull-rush arrangement that builds to a rush-of-blood-to-the-head sprint.
But in a stripped-down live performance on YouTube Thursday (July 6), the 20-year-old star washed all of that away and played the first single from her upcoming sophomore album, GUTS, on solo grand piano.
Opening with a shot from above, the moving re-imagining begins with Rodrigo plucking the keys while singing the song’s overstuffed first verse. “I I hate to give the satisfaction, asking how you’re doing now/ How’s the castle built off people you pretend to care about?/ Just what you wanted/ Look at you, cool guy, you got it,” she sings.
As she winds her way to the first chorus, the camera swings to the side to capture Rodrigo in profile, her passion rising as she hits the by-now-familiar vicious kiss-off refrain. “I used to think I was smart/ But you made me look so naïve/ The way you sold me for parts/ As you sunk your teeth into me, oh/ Bloodsucker, famef–ker/ Bleedin’ me dry like a goddamn vampire,” she croons in a heartsick yowl.
While the piano take features the song’s NSFW refrain, earlier this week Rodrigo also shared a TikTok with some hilariously sanitized alternate radio edit lyrics to the song, swapping the f-word for some more carpool-friendly rhymes, including “tree hugger,” “fame hunter,” “whale blubber,” “Mark Zucker,” “fame lover” and “garlic butter.” GUTS is due out on Sept. 8.
Watch Rodrigo’s solo piano performance of “Vampire” below.