Just in time for next week’s Fourth of July celebrations, Lana Del Rey, the strangest of indie pop ducks currently making dreamy and slightly insufferable music right now, has unveiled the video for her newest single, "National Anthem." I try my best to refrain from using "epic" to describe things that just end up on YouTube, but this might be Del Rey’s biggest accomplishment in the sense that it looks like she actually tried.
It begins, oddly, with Del Rey in old-timey black and white footage, mimicing Marilyn Monroe’s classic rendition of "Happy Birthday" (question: how much did her record label shell out to get the rights to that for some seven-minute music video?). Do you think she modeled her Marilyn on My Week With Marilyn‘s Michelle Williams or Smash‘s Katharine McPhee? (Trick question: the answer Smash‘s Uma Thurman’s Marilyn). Then, the real music video begins, with an Instagrammy depiction of Del Rey traipsing around a Hamptons lawn with A$AP Rocky and some adorable kids.
(Here’s a random and slightly unrelated question: has Instagram put those old-timey photoshoot storefronts out of business yet? It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to a mall so that I could dress up in cowboy gear and have my picture taken by a college student who regrets not taking summer courses instead of returning to his parents’ suburban home for break.)
And, of course, there’s a recreation of the JFK assassination, because every generation gets the silly pop-music homage to an American tragedy it deserves.
In all seriousness, though, I’m actually shocked how much I didn’t not like this video. The song is actually one of the few from Del Rey’s Born to Die that I thought was actually pretty good. But, you know, the bar’s set pretty low here. But it does work well in conjuction with my Lana Del Rey drinking game, in which I take shots every time there’s a shot of either her closed eyes or her creepy nails. (It’s a good thing this is less than eight minutes long.)