Olivia Rodrigo has what is easily the year’s biggest breakout hit with “Drivers License,” a heartbreaking tune that is rumored to have been inspired by the end of Rodrigo’s supposed relationship with her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star Joshua Bassett. Despite whatever tensions may or may not exist between the two, though, they are still co-workers on the show, the second season of which is set to premiere on Disney+ in a couple weeks. Ahead of then, a new song from the season has been shared, a duet between Rodrigo and Bassett called “Even When/The Best Part.”
Billboard notes the song was recorded before “Drivers License” became a hit, and that it appears in the “Valentine’s Day” episode, which is scheduled to air on May 28. The publication summarizes the plot of the season and the episode:
“Nini (Rodrigo) and Ricky (Bassett) navigate their long-distance relationship after she heads off to the Denver-based Youth Actors Conservatory, leaving Ricky, the East High Wildcats and their spring musical production behind in Salt Lake City, Utah. The ‘Valentine’s Day’ episode spotlights Nini and Ricky struggling to physically spend the holiday together, after Ricky takes a bus to Denver to surprise Nini with the new love song he wrote for her titled ‘Even When’ — only for Nini to surprise Ricky outside his (old) house in Salt Lake City and sing her own romantic ballad ‘The Best Part.’
Toward the end of the episode, the high school sweethearts simultaneously perform their songs while leaving voicemails for each other shortly before the clock strikes midnight and signals the end of Valentine’s Day. The result is ‘Even When/The Best Part,’ a swoon-worthy ‘accidental duet’ featuring Bassett on guitar and Rodrigo on ukulele that strategically synthesizes their individual songs together like two pieces of a puzzle.”
Bassett also told Billboard of the track, “‘Even When/The Best Part’ is a truly special duet. I played guitar when we filmed it, and sang along to Olivia’s vocals in my ear while she shot her side separately! I’m stoked to see how it all came together and really think people are gonna love it! Hands down: one of my favorites this season!”
Watch Rodrigo and Bassett perform “Even When/The Best Part” above.