“Summertime Sadness” is the eleventh track off of Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” album from 2012. Written by both Del Rey and her long term friend and songwriting partner Rick Nowels, the track follows Del Rey’s normal slow and downtempo melancholic sound.
The track tells the tale of a love that causes an individual to not fear anything anymore (“nothin’ scares me now”, as Lana sings in the bridge”. The song focuses on the feeling of being invincible as long as Del Rey is with her lover, and compares it to a “summertime sadness” – which could mean she knows that the relationship is as fleeting as the summer is.
The Cedric Gervais remix of the track in 2013 brought the song back to the world’s attention, as Del Rey asked him to collaborate with her in remixing the track. Gervais told Billboard magazine: “To me, it is not about the money, so I turned down a lot of people. But Lana Del Rey came in. I didn’t even ask how much money I just said please send me the vocals right away and I did the track in one day. I wasn’t thinking if it was going to be a hit or not, I just love and respect the artist that she is.” The track blew up in the summer of 2013 and was considered the track of summer across the globe.
The music video was directed by Kyle Newman and Spencer Susser, and was filmed in April 2012 in Santa Clarita in California. Newman’s wife actress Jamie King, plays Del Rey’s love interest. The music video focuses on a couple who both commit suicide – first Newman (who opens up the music video with a voice message saying: “Remember, I’ll always love you, bye”), then Del Rey singing the opening line before jumping off a cliff. The rest of the music video shows scenes of the lovers together and the slow breakdown of their relationship and the inability to repair what they have lost, causing them to both end their lives. The video received a mixed reaction from critics, some praising it’s darker storyline and cinematography, while some were not impressed. “I don’t think Lana Del Rey is even trying anymore”, wrote Tyler Monrow of AUX, adding that the video was “indistinguishable nothingness”. The music video was uploaded to YouTube in August 2013, and has over 172 million views and almost 1.7 million likes.
Release Date: 22nd June 2012
Songwriter/s: Lana Del Rey & Rick Nowels
Producer/s: Emile Haynie & Rick Nowels
Music Video Release Date: 23rd August 2013
Music Video Director: Kyle Newman & Spencer Susser
Chart Rankings & Certifications: The track went Gold in both Austria and Switzerland, 3x Gold in Germany, Platinum in Mexico, 3x Platinum in Italy and 4x Platinum in the US. The track went to the top charts in the US, Poland, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Mexico, and France.