Several months ago, singer Olivia Rodrigo released an emotional album that showcased so much emotion and vocal ability from the first track down to its very last. One of the songs that were released in Rodrigo’s Sour album, entitled Traitor, recently got its own music video which is an emotional and visual masterpiece.

Here’s our breakdown of this amazing song and video:

The lyrics of this emotional outpouring center on loss, questions left unanswered, and an overall state of being vulnerable and broken. Due to these themes and the fact that it deals with heartaches and relationships, the track has connected with a whole lot of listeners. The song peaked at the number 9 spot in the  US Billboard’s Hot 100 and at 5th place on the UK Singles list.

An Honest Account of Hurt and Regret

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Any experience of betrayal causes hurt and pain. In Olivia’s song Traitor, it is portrayed as something that happens “in-between” moments of a relationship. One does not have to actually “cheat” to betray or hurt someone. It can take many forms, all causing damage to relationships and people.

Olivia’s song is pretty straightforward when it comes to its lyrics and message however, this does not mean that the song is shallow –  far from it. If anything, it makes the listener easily connect to its honest and moving lyrics. There is a relatable aspect to the lyrics and video that almost gives listeners a painful nostalgic trip to the past. There is a vulnerable and honest manner with which Rodrigo captures this painful subject matter that it seems so real and personal to the artist and simultaneously to all of us as we listen to every word and note.

Traitor Music Video: A play of light and symbolism

As soon as you hear the first notes and see the first scenes of the music video, you’re immediately transported in a retro flashback, set in those coming of age years of youth. The play of light and shadow captures that these moments shown happened in past and are being recalled, giving a feel of nostalgia. There is also a consistent VHS-type overlay that seems to appear on most of Rodrigo’s videos. This simple yet consistent treatment brings out that youthful and current atmosphere while still providing something familiar.

We also loved the symbolism of the music video. There are so many references and small little details that add depth to this video. All of these play wonderfully with each other to bring a bigger emphasis to the emotion and message behind the song. There is also a juxtaposition of a happy Olivia of the past, with a broken one singing in the present. Also, at the end of the music video, it shows her leaving the “surreal world”, which could mean that there is a feeling of acceptance, peace, and moving on to the next chapter.

There is a feeling of healing and peace at end of the video. In fact, watching it is similar to watching a film, because of the multitude of emotions that it gets from the viewers. As usual honest work is always welcome. We’re rooting for Olivia as she continues her journey as this generation’s princess of alternative pop which by the looks of it is heading in the right direction with the sheer quantity of quality songs that she’s produced so far.

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