Lana Del Rey, a.k.a New Yorker Lizzie Grant, is officially my new girl-crush. Effortlessly oozing old-school Hollywood glamour, and with lips to die for, the sultry singer/song writer labels her music and debut single, Video Games, as ‘Hollywood sad core’.
Indeed, Rey’s press release states “The memory of faded stars like Bette Davis, Kurt Cobain, Nina Simone and Elvis are the chorus line for her music”. This is evident in the styling of both her video and personal appearance, with clear influence taken from classic film noir, and stars of the past; both Elvis and Bette Davis featuring within the video.
The video flickers between scenes of romance and hollywood stardom, juxtaposed with the stereotypical video-game commentary of war and destruction. This contrast is complimented by Rey’s soothing vocals, and the use of a harp is particularly effective in creating an almost soft edge of naivety and sadness to the lyrics.
Maybe this is an account of a rocky relationship, or of an overtly dedicated girlfriend, prepared to overlook with her boyfriend’s incessant love of video games over her. The lyrics certainly seem to suggest the latter/ “It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you“, suggesting a degree of sacrifice on her part within the relationship.
Alternatively, this could be the perspective of a woman happily prepared to partake in activities typically considered male hobbies and thus the relationship is that of a mutual love for video games; “Watchin all our friends fall/ Leanin out of old cars/ This is my idea of fun/ Playing video games”.
She also mentions playing pool and darts, and drinking beer; Pitchfork pretty much sums up the song’s possibilities, suggesting the lyrics imply, “The allowances of a dream girl, or just the most sarcastic, cutting thing you can say to an emotionally unavailable boyfriend.”
Either way, the masculine element of gaming footage is counter-acted by Rey’s smouldering and emotionally-charged appearances, and the inclusion of Hollywood stars within the video supports that already-stated glamour of a star-in-the-making.
Bette Davis (top) and Nina Simone, two of Rey’s icons, and influences.