You may not be surprised to learn that, for Lana Del Rey’s music video accompanying her Honeymoon track “Music to Watch Boys To,” the musician listens to music, and (sort of) watches boys. Now that we’ve gotten the two main themes out of the way, we can start digging into the aesthetic nuances. The boy-surveillance —headquartered on a cinematically artificial lawn — has focused its scrutiny on boys playing basketball and skateboarding.
From her chaise lounge in the romantically fake garden, Del Rey puts on a pair of flowered headphones, soundtracking the watching of the boys. Which, true to the sound, is no enthusiastic act: this watching of these boys does not excite, so much as it lulls. And a key question remains: are the boys even, really, being watched? At one point, Del Rey appears in front of a silhouette of the boys, her head turned towards the camera rather than, as we might expect, boys. Like the rest of the album, disinterest is the emotion being expressed — even towards titular boys!
Meanwhile, from time to time, images of girls — yes, they’re here too — floating through water interrupt, and Del Rey eventually joins them, happily submerged. In other imagery that is neither of boys nor the music to watch them to, during the delivery of the line “Pink flamingos always fascinated me,” a flock of these very birds flies across the screen, fascinatingly.
The direct referencing of the lyrics in the video’s images mesmerically reflects the song’s — and the whole album’s — languid patchwork aesthetic. Watch: