Annie Blackman gives listeners a “Souvenir”

New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Annie Blackman dances with statues in the video for her newest single, “Souvenir,” out now on Father/Daughter Records.

Annie Blackman is an artist that routinely brings listeners to new places. While these new landscapes are often emotional or metaphorical, the video for her latest single “Souvenir” takes audiences to a physical space beneath massive statues located throughout New Jersey. Blackman sings directly to the camera as she stands beneath a gargantuan replica of Grant Wood’s American Gothic in one moment, and gently strokes the head of an enormous, red cow in another shot. The strange proportions of the video—beautifully portrayed thanks to careful handiwork by her cameraman and brother William Blackman—set the scene for the out-of-body experience that Blackman narrates in her newest offering.

From her debut EP released during her time in high school, to her follow-up album penned while she was still in college, to her more mature singles put out within the last few months, Blackman has often used her songwriting as a form of confessional. “Souvenir” is no different, continuing a trend of intimate lyricism that doubles as secret sharing. The track details a sexual encounter that left Blackman feeling removed from her own body. The song starts by setting the scene while also describing the beginning pangs of dissociation, with Blackman singing, “Here ‘cause it feels alright / I’ll forgive my body in your basement tonight / Separately I’m struggling and standing at the sink / I deserve whatever hurts I think.” Ultimately, it’s unclear if Blackman feels harmed or just perplexed by the interaction. The track ends with the artist stating, “It is what it is / Soft and sweet and meaningless / Don’t forget that I was here / The soreness in my legs: A souvenir.” Comparable to the mellow and melancholic etudes of Adrianne Lenker or Julien Baker, “Souvenir” is quiet, thoughtful, and complicated.

About the track, Blackman explains, “In this song, a night comes and goes, and I’m working with limited proof that it ever even happened. A souvenir can be a feeling, physical or emotional, and I’ve always found them essential in processing an experience. Part of what I love about writing songs is that they become souvenirs eventually, too.” Check out your souvenir below.

Claire Greising