Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit

Turn the lights off, fall asleep, and face your innermost anxieties with Olive Louise in the eerie and surreal video for her new song “Bad Things.” This indie pop track oozes dark lullaby notes that contrast Olive’s soft vocals, meditating on the “Bad Things” she describes: the things that float through our waking nightmares.

“It’s a really helpless state to be in, feeling like you’re getting a warning sign that something’s going to happen, and feeling absolutely insane when no one takes you seriously.”

Olive Louise’s unique, but harrowing childhood crucially informs the themes that riddle her lyrics and visuals. Her struggle with anxiety from an early age is palpable in her lyrics, as Olive sings over distorted synths about her repressed thoughts and paralyzing premonitions about losing her parents.

“I’d have nightmares where I was in my house running around looking for them and their bedroom was completely abandoned and covered in cobwebs, and I’d wake up sobbing cause it felt so real.” Olive shared with LadyGunn. “When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I demanded to speak to her doctor because I had this awful feeling, as any kid would learning that their mom has cancer, that she wasn’t going to be okay.”

Those forebodings, involving vivid nightmares and unendurable panic, revealed themselves to be tragically intuitive when Olive’s parents (major musical influences) passed away just as she entered her most formative years. “It’s a really helpless state to be in, feeling like you’re getting a warning sign that something’s going to happen and feeling absolutely insane when no one takes you seriously and not wanting to feel that way at all. I still get that way sometimes and me and my sister both call each other up like, “Had a weird feeling – all good over there?”

The ensuing mental health issues that consumed much of Olive’s life, specifically excoriation disorder, were misunderstood by her peers and further isolated herself from social experiences. Any sense of control began slipping, slipping, slipping – but ultimately stigma and her internal struggles were no match for Olive, who has used songwriting as a vehicle for being vulnerable, feeling self-love and for finding catharsis.

“I wanted to take the idea people had of me into my own hands.”

Grit your teeth and hold on tight because the “Bad Things” video exposes you to all of the horrors that only our minds contain. Throughout several frames, Olive’s personal demons are personified as creatures with staticky scribbles over their faces and creepy masks made of crumpled money. Some of them sneak up on her and others menacingly hover right over her, and thus, the viewer. While the song begins with a quick sped-up sample of some ambiguous 20s or 30s jazz song, the video opens with a series of images projected of what is presumably Olive’s childhood, as she sleeps in her bed. This sets up ghostly nostalgia that builds on the song’s paradox of innocence and darkness. It’s a kernel of truth that reflects many of our own childhoods: being too young to know that truly sinister things exist in this world, and oftentimes they live right in our own homes (or in our heads).

Olive has confided: “After my parents died, everyone became overly concerned that I was going to become this troubled person who would never amount too much and a lot of people stopped treating me like normal. I was still the same, good kid, wanting to get to orchestra class.”

“It got exhausting not having that support or love because I had people that felt like strangers living in my parents house with me. I ended up rebelling and in some strange way, it made people talk for a little and then the people who weren’t ever really there in a truly supportive way finally left me alone.” She continues. “I found my own way and didn’t allow myself to be scared to not stay on a conventional path all out of fear that people might judge me. Turns out I’m not such a lost cause and you can have bad things happen to you and still be okay in the end.”

“Bad Things” drops today, on 2/27, and was mixed by Andrew Wuepper (Justin Beiber) and mastered by Chris Gehringer (Beyonce, Rihanna, Cardi B, Lady Gaga). Follow Olive’s journey below and look out for some upcoming tour dates to be announced soon.



photos / Will Tee Yang

story / Jenna Dorn

Close Menu