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Olivia Rodrigo's New "Traitor" Music Video Calls Back To Her Previous Videos!

10-26-2021 by Melissa Morales

(Olivia Rodrigo/YouTube)


She’s done it again! Late last week, our “Sour” prom queen Olivia Rodrigo released her music video for the song “traitor”, which came at a complete surprise for everyone! She notified fans of the drop the same day with an Instagram post of photos from the music video. Captioned on the photos was "surprise! traitor mv out now! ???."




The video begins with an overlay view of Olivia jumping in clouds matching the ethereal vocal backtrack. It then shifts to more aesthetically pleasing and vintage visuals, through ocean views, riding in a truck with friends, playing in an arcade, swimming in the school pool, and running through a football field with some of the video being filmed through grainy, grunge recordings. It ends with Olivia in space opening a door to the unknown.


The entirety of the music video gives off high school, nostalgic vibes with images that resonate with the fun times of being a teenager. This contrasts with the song itself, which can be interpreted as reflecting on an experience from a past lover who entered into another relationship immediately after a breakup.


This music video, as with many of Olivia’s others, is filled with strong symbolic images emphasizing on surrealism and youth with lights and shadows signifying moments from the past and present. She also sings in a somber, emotional tone which provides a juxtaposition from the visuals.


A post shared by MTV (@mtv)


Let’s not forget about the parallels! We noticed some images that recur through this video and appear in some of Olivia’s past music videos. One of these is the driving aspect. This, of course, stems from her iconic “drivers license” music video and continues to be a motif in some of her other music videos like “deja vu” and “brutal”. This symbol of driving can definitely reflect on moving away from past experiences and moving onto better ones.




Another parallel we found is Olivia rising from the water. As seen at the end of “good 4 u”, Olivia rises out of the water again in “traitor”. What can this mean? Water often represents rebirth and cleansing, so maybe this is symbolic of Olivia washing off the troubles of the past into a new chapter! 




Finally, the symbol of the mirror, which we see in her “deja vu” music video. For “deja vu”, Olivia looks at herself in a full-length mirror, and the image becomes distorted with The Other Girl. In “traitor”, Olivia holds a hand-held mirror underwater with her face reflecting in the water. This can definitely mean newfound confidence with positive self-reflection.




Will Olivia release any more music videos for her Sour album? Will it be “jealousy, jealousy”? “Favorite crime”? Maybe one of my personal favorites, “happier”? Whatever it is, we're definitely looking forward to it! Until then, let’s keep hitting rewind!