Joshua Bassett isn’t as over his ex as he thought he was. And he’s OK admitting that. On his brand-new song “Doppelgänger,” Bassett sings about seeing his former lover’s lookalike in public as he continues to long for a lost love. He’s done keeping his guard up, and he’s a better person for it.
On its surface, “Doppelgänger” — along with its video, which follows a reflective love story with an Olivia Rodrigo lookalike — seems to confirm that the new music is about his headline-making, Twitter-chatter-creating split from his High School Musical co-star. But deep down, with its simple production and his melancholic vocals, the track introduces followers of the Sour saga to a Bassett that is actually much softer and less villainous than Rodrigo’s singles made him out to be.
“I saw someone who looked like you at our favorite coffee shop/And part of me was hoping we would get the chance to talk,” he sings. “I guess I’m not as over you as I thought/And I thought I was.” Bassett channels the longing through the aching lyrics about seeing his former lover’s lookalike in public. There’s more than one side to a breakup, and he’s come to terms with the fact that he’s still hurt.
In December, Bassett addressed the split and the emotional repercussions for the first time in his music. He bared it all on a trio of songs, including the scorching “Crisis,” where he sang (seemingly about Rodrigo) “messin’ with my life as a career move.” “Doppelgänger” appears to release some of that resentment, and instead chooses to acknowledge the deep feelings his relationship left him with.
“The truth is no one’s like you/And a heart cannot be lied to,” he sings at the end. “A lookalike could never take your place.” With “Doppelgänger,” Bassett reflects on the beauty of his former relationship, and with that openness, evokes nothing but empathy and understanding for a character who the world was convinced was a traitor.