Angel Olsen “Forgiven/Forgotten” Video

Angel Olsen, unrecognizably emotive considering her usual stony public demeanour, hugs an ex goodbye in the video for “Forgiven/Forgotten”. But even her long embrace seems passionless, until she thrusts him away. She hurls words in his face that remain private to all except lip-readers. Yet her clinching stare into the camera reels in the observer, disrupting this otherwise intimate moment.

As Angel walks away from the scene, the past literally scratches out behind her, including all shreds of his figure. But the scratches clear. She strides towards new beginnings, her soul a little lighter. A gleeful smile. Riding free on her bike in the North Carolina suburbs.

Despite appearing to be in the throes of forgetting, Olsen repeats: “If there’s one thing I fear / It’s knowing you’re ‘round / So close but not here / So close / Oh, but not with me here … I don’t know anything / But I love you.” Is he really forgotten? Her words, and the sad sight of Olsen, dressed up in silver, as if anticipating his return, flopping around on a bathroom floor, suggest anything but.

Leslie Ken Chu

Leslie Ken Chu