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[Hot Video Alert: Double Feature] Lana Del Rey, Summertime Sadness & National Anthem

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

[Hot Video Alert: Double Feature] Lana Del Rey, Summertime Sadness & National Anthem

Lana Del Rey

Controversial American singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey is plowing forward with international promotion for her debut album, Born To Die, with the release of two new summer ready singles. Released June 22nd, "Summertime Sadness" served as Lana's third single in Germany and Austria and her fourth in Switzerland. Earlier this month in the UK Lana released "National Anthem" as her fourth single. Over here in America...we're being ignored.

I really wish people in America would give Lana Del Rey another chance. It's like people aren't able to forgive the travesty that was her performance on Saturday Night Live. Come on America! Give this girl the benefit of the doubt! As good as "Blue Jeans" and "Video Games" are, Lana's two new singles are the absolute BEE'S KNEES!

Lana Del Rey Summertime Sadness

Written by Lana alongside Rick Nowels and Kieran De Jour and produced by Emile Haynie, Nowels and Devrim Karaoglu "Summertime Sadness" is a sultry, haunting little gem in the same musical vein as "Blue Jeans" or "Video Games."

An equally haunting and beautiful video, directed by Kyle Newman and Spencer Susser, was uploaded to Lana's YouTube page on July 20th. The video chronicles the tragic love story of two beautiful women, played by Del Rey and actress Jamie King (Sin City, "Hart of Dixie"). I love how the video was shot using that same grainy, old home movie-style aesthetic that we saw in her earlier clips. This vintage style really complements the darkness and mystery that she Lana exudes in all of her songs. A digital EP was released featuring a lovely mix by Hannes Fischer, while additional remixes from Todd Terry and Marbert Rocel appear on the 12" vinyl.

Lana Del Rey National Anthem

Only a slight musical departure from her past singles, "National Anthem" was co-written by Lana, Justin Parker and The Nexus and produced by Emile Haynie and Jeff Bhasker. While "National Anthem" still has that same haunting quality that's present in pretty much everything she puts out, on this song, Lana Del Rey exudes considerably more hip-hop swagger than anything else she's put out in the past. It's like a whole other Lana Del Rey and I'm kind of obsessed! On the remix for "National Anthem" we have Fred Falke, Tensnake and Afterlife as well as a remix from Breton Labs available on vinyl.

The Anthony Mandler-directed video for "National Anthem" debuted on June 27th and features Del Rey portraying two of the most famous women in President John F. Kennedy's life: Marilyn Monroe (delivering a swoon-worthy rendition of "Happy Birthday Mr. President") and Jacqueline Onassis, the video's protagonist. American rapper A$AP Rocky stars in the video as Kennedy and appears throughout the video in flashback sequences, including a chilling recreation of The President's assassination. The video is a masterpiece, both conceptually and aesthetically. Both Del Rey and A$AP Rocky play their parts flawlessly. The video was bound to stir up some controversy, which is why director Anthony Mandler held off talking about it until after it's premiere. According to Mandler in an interview with MTV;
"We used the Kennedy framework to kind of implement this new Camelot, this racially diverse Camelot, this maybe socially diverse Camelot...bringing it into the modern era, but still keeping that classic framework."
I'm honestly floored by how beautiful this video is and by the fact that I missed it when it first came out. If anything, I think "National Anthem" showcases Lana Del Rey's exceptional skills as a creative wordsmith. She delivers potentially awkward rhymes and unconventional phrasing (standing ova-a-t-i-i-o-o-o-n-n) with such finesse. Here's hoping that the rumors are true that Del Rey's working on her sophomore album because girl needs to redeem herself here in America. Either that or America just has to forgive and forget that whole SNL fiasco.

Download "Summertime Sadness" (iTunes UK/iTunes US//iTunes DE) and "National Anthem" (iTunes UK/iTunes US) and check out both stunning videos BELOW.

Check out Lana Del Rey on the web:

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