By Courtney E. Smith
They say the West Coast is the best coast, and it could easily be Lana Del Rey’s life motto. As she builds up the myth around the character of Del Rey that she’ll play for her second album release, there are two themes that we should prepare to be throughly explored: California and bad boys.
It may sound simplistic, but those two subjects as portrayed by Lana Del Rey in “West Coast” have layers upon layers upon layers of darkness. In the black and white video she walks along a beach while waves crash violently in the background and a posse of burn-out skater boys swarm.
At about 1:20 the music changes and so does the scene. Del Rey is an old Hollywood starlet, in a car with a Robert Evans-type character, smoking and driving with the top down to one glamours affair or another. It’s the yin and yang of youthful hope, the kind Hollywood lives by attracting, and cynical industry, the kind Hollywood thrives on but hides.
To boil down the image that Del Rey is building into one line, look no further than Albert Camus, who also knows something about standing on a beach: “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” It pretty well marries together her continuing play with female sexuality, Hollywood stereotypes and insistence that she is her own creation.