MDP on MusicVids: "Summertime Sadness" by Lana del Rey

Done my hair up real big beauty queen style High heels off, I’m feeling alive ~Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey … so much written about her. So many opinions!

No one could possibly dispute though, that she has a spectacular voice. And as my blogs are about specific song videos, I’m not going to get into the whole “how dare she reinvent herself under a new name and abandon her original fans” – or some such twat! (though for the record I can’t possibly see why it would matter if she did. Just shows she’s smart and committed).

I think what really miffed some fans and critics is that she wasn’t a starving New York musican who done good but a girl from money, who used her means to help her achieve her goal.

Del Rey likes a certain kind of look to her vids and this one is no exception. Sepia toned, smoky, filtered and aged, she goes heavily for nostalgia and tragic romance. The clip is said to reflect the pain and sadness of not being able to spend your life with the person you love, and depicts suicide. It is a beautiful mood piece but like many clips, its real narrative is a little confused and takes a back seat to sultry set pieces of Del Rey and her actress friend, Jaime King.

In spite of that, viewed in isolation, the video clip is quite moving and lovely. However, if you’re familiar with Del Rey and her work, it may well be passed off (as some critics have) as being just another moody magazine spread of the singer in an array of diaphanous gowns. She does love girly and lacy! I dig her voice and her “thing”. She’s said to be going for a bad ass Nancy Sinatra look, and though I catch echoes of that, it is hard to see Del Rey as anything other than a true romantic.

Thumbs up for the sound and the look of Summertime Sadness, thumbs sideways for the clarity of the storytelling.

Here’s the clip, directed by Kyle Newman and Spencer SusserDirector of Photography: Morgan Susser, Editor: Spencer Susser, Producer: Tova Dann, Starring: Jaime King & Lana Del Rey

But even better is this vid of her version of Summer Wine by Nancy Sinatra

  • Prepagan

    “Summertime Sadness was written for Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby soundtrack”

    I’m pretty sure you’re confusing this track with “Young & Beautiful” which she co-wrote with Baz Luhrmann for the movie. “Summertime Sadness” does not appear in the Great Gatsby.

    I’m a big fan of LDR but I always laugh when someone suggests she’s looking to be a bad ass version of Nancy Sinatra given that Nancy was pretty bad ass herself!

    As far as the clarity of the story telling in the video, like many of her videos it is essentially a mood piece to complement the music and to offer just enough structure and clues for the viewer to create their own story.

    If you haven’t already seen it, I suggest you check out her half hour video “Tropico” at

    I think it’s quite cool when an author I like also likes a singer I admire :-)

  • Hi prepagan, thanks for your comment! And I apologise for the error (which I have deleted) – that’s what happens when you blog late at night and you’re tired. I should know better.

    I’ve had a quick peek at Tropico already but will have a better look today. And I agree with you about her videos being mood pieces. I personally love mood pieces but sometimes I feel a little frustrated when artists begin to hint at a story and then don’t give enough clues to make sense of it. Must be the storyteller in me that gets bothered.

    best MDP


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