By Courtney E. Smith
The trippy, psychedelic clip for “Shades of Cool” keeps with the darker, more David Lynch-inspired side of the singer.
In it, Del Rey is paired with an older paramour. The dapper gentleman radiates shades of Harry Dean Stanton, his weathered skin and silver hair sitting atop a thin skeleton that emanates a certain kind of danger that some men seem to naturally carry around. In fairness, some of the heavy work there is done by his neck tattoo. Shots of the two are overlaid with palm trees, flowers and American flags, typical Lana Del Rey imagery.
Del Rey herself appears in almost a mirage state, wearing a white shirt dress, red belt and Veronica Lake hair — the latter being a style she explored prior to Ultraviolence, but until now was something she’d seemingly abandoned in favor of a more 1970s Laurel Canyon aesthetic (flower crowns and messy hair).
Del Rey floats through the video like a fantasy, creating her own Americana. In the background the menacing figure of her companion is always in wait. The heavy guitar near the song’s end gives the feeling that a dark climax will be reached, but like much of life a lot goes on and nothing happens.
Ultraviolence is out today. Not sure who she is? Read our new Frequently Asked Questions feature on Del Rey to get caught up.