Best Summer-Themed Music Videos: Lana Del Rey – Video Games (2012)


Lana Del Rey’s reflective hit ‘Ride’ has an emotional lyric; “I’ve been trying too hard with one pretty song”. In a recent live performance, she told fans that the ‘pretty song’ was 2011’s ‘Video Games’, her first major hit. Listening to ‘Video Games’ is a religious experience. The song beautifully employs a harp, strings, and church bells to create a song so magical and nostalgic, so it just has to have a music video that brings out this summer sentimentality. 

For many people, the sun brings about memories of having fun with friends. The music video for ‘Video Games’ feels like you’re watching Lana’s home movies and experiencing this reminiscence along with her. Directed and edited by Miss Del Rey herself, the movie shows short clips of Old Hollywood, friends frolicking on a field, and American actress Paz de la Huerta drunkenly falling over on the street.

There’s something about the latter-mentioned clip that feels slightly tragic as the actress stumbles around and is hounded by male photographers, there’s a feeling that the actress is misunderstood. Lana’s whole aesthetic has been very much built off this video, and similarly, she has been misunderstood as an artist for years. The webcam clips of a pouty, mournful looking singer was the first thing mainstream media saw of her, and from this, she was seen as ‘stiff, distant, and weird’. Lana has since said she wishes she hadn’t come across so pouty in the video, wanting instead to come across as smart, but I personally think her lyrical poetry and ability to create such a serene song and accompanying video shows she’s one of the smartest musicians in the game. 

The music video currently has 325 million YouTube views, and Lana has also since commented that if she knew the video would gain so much popularity, she would have put more time into creating a storyline, but in my opinion, the video holds a strong narrative about summer memories, and memories are sporadic and random, which is exactly how the clips appear in the video. It really is a wonderfully nostalgic music video that makes me beg for an American summer!



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