Lana Del Rey’s lyrics are littered with references to sugar daddies and other ostensible paternal figures. Plagued by rumors that her own pop, a wealthy Internet entrepreneur, bankrolled her career, it’s surprising that Del Rey would continue to perpetuate the image of the gold-digging ingénue in her work. But that’s exactly what she does in the music video for “West Coast,” the haunting lead single from her upcoming album, Ultraviolence. The clip was posted on Vevo today before being removed for as-yet-unexplained reasons.
Taking a page from Chris Isaak’s iconic, oft-emulated “Wicked Game,” which was directed by the late Herb Ritts, “West Coast” starts off in inky black and white. The video faithfully mirrors the song’s lyrics, which depict a woman torn between love and ambition, with Del Rey alternately frolicking seaside with a blond, leather-clad bad boy and nuzzling in the backseat of a fancy convertible with a decidedly more mature svengali type. The video is understated by Del Rey’s usual standards, but by the time the track’s ‘90s hip-hop synth line drops in, her career is on fire, and so is she.