New Music: Lana Del Rey – ‘Video Games’

It’s always disconcerting when a new song begins to make the rounds and in a handful of hours, the band’s become an establishment. (See also: Cults, “Go Outside.”) At the very least, that kind of unanimous hype makes me wary, but after a few spins, Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” turned into a pretty great tune after all. Her cover-girl come-hither stare in the accompanying video doesn’t hurt, but it’s her voice — a smoky alto she wields with subtle, flawless control — that will haunt your dreams, especially once she breaks into the gently trembling chorus. The off-center orchestral arrangement reveals her as an artist unwilling to head directly down the middle of the road, a quality I hope she holds onto as she cannonballs toward inevitable Lykke Li-level ubiquity by next spring’s inevitable sold-out tour. Maybe she can be the next Neko Case instead.