This morning Lana Del Rey released the latest video from her album Honeymoon. Featuring Father John Misty, the video for Freak is an eleven minute piece of film which has a sort of dreamy, sixties or seventies feel to it as it follows two musicians hiking out to the wilderness to drop acid. When Lana’s song ends five minutes in, the soundtrack is replaced by Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune as the women from her previous music video Music To Watch Boys To play around underwater.
To release the video, Lana held a ‘Music Video Premiere Event’ at the historic The Wiltern theatre in Los Angeles. She’d done the same for the release of her 2013 film Tropico, which premiered at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood before being uploaded to her vevo and YouTube channels. Tickets were only $5 for fans to join her at the event, where she performed three songs before the premiere of the new video, then discussed the video on stage before collecting gifts and talking to fans in the audience. Lana’s generosity began even before the guests were inside the building – whilst in the queue outside, representatives for the singer came outside and gifted the first bunch of people in the queue signed gift boxes with merchandise necklaces inside, as well as signed CDs.
I think you can already tell, but I’m a big fan of Lana Del Rey. I first heard Video Games at the start of 2012 and it still remains to be one of the only modern songs that has really affected me. I saw a tweet about it and found it on youtube, then proceeded to listen to it on repeat for an hour or two – and I never do that with music. When my sister shouted up to the stairs to change the song because it was starting to annoy her, I moved onto Born To Die, and then every other song I could find by Lana.
I think what attracts me to Lana Del Rey is that she is a completely and unapologetically original artist in the current music industry. Her first album Born To Die, featuring the single Video Games took the world by storm and she became an overnight sensation. She was making music for years before her first album, and creating videos for them by putting clips together on her laptop – which I think has heavily influenced how I make videos too.
The thing I love most about Lana’s videos is that each one is an art form. Every video is a short film that tells a story, instead of just a dance number (not that there’s anything wrong with those types of music videos don’t fight me). It’s her artistic expression that draws so many people to her, including a dedicated fanbase and massive stars like James Franco & Adele. Franco’s been so inspired by her he’s even written a book about her, featuring “real and imaginary conversations” with her. Which should be interesting.
I love each and every one of Lana’s videos, but I’ve narrowed them down to my favourite five below for you to read and watch too.
Top 5 Lana Del Rey videos:
- Video Games
This will always be a favourite as it’s the video that started it all. From the clips of friends on motorbikes & jumping in pools to her hypnotic gaze in the clips of her singing, it’s really an iconic video, and the one that made her an overnight viral sensation.
- Kinda Outta Luck
Possibly my favourite Lana song and video. Back in her pre-Born To Die days, this is one of the many home made videos she produced, splicing together little homemade clips of her singing and snippets from old tv shows and films, as well as videos of exotic dancers and femme fatal characters (there’s an appearance from Jessica Rabbit too).
I’m pretty sure this was Lana’s first lengthy music video. From the opening and closing monologues to the shots of Lana on a tyre swing in the desert, this video is beautiful. Lana on the back of a motorbike in the midst of a biker gang riding through the American wilderness just seems like one aspect of her own personality. And her HAIR.
- National Anthem
A$AP Rocky as President of the United States isn’t something you’d imagine, but in this video with Lana as his First Lady, it works. It opens with Lana recreating Marilyn Monroe’s infamous rendition of the happy birthday song to President John F. Kennedy at a celebration of his forty-fifth birthday, and then moves onto showing the love story of him and Jackie Kennedy. The shooting of this video is beautiful (though maybe shooting isn’t the best word to use), and Anthony Mandler’s direction of Lana’s concept is perfect.
- Summertime Sadness
This video is STUNNING. Featuring model and actress Jamie King, it stays true to Lana’s original music video style by switching between old clips of Lana & Jamie, high quality shots of Jamie and then close ups of Lana singing. The original Summertime Sadness is so haunting and tells such a sad story – which is something that didn’t translate in the massively popular remix by Cedric Gervais.
You can watch the new video for Freak here on Lana’s Vevo YouTube