Nearly two weeks ago, the Lana Del Rey camp released the audio for her upcoming single Born to Die with a looped video clip of the bare-chested songstress caressing a heavily tattooed man in front of a gently undulating American flag.
Despite the Internet buzz, that was not the official video. The official video was released Wednesday after a bizarre leak on an obscure Russian-language Web site.
Turns out the clip released on Dec. 2 was just the opening and closing of the real video, conceived by Del Rey and directed by Woodkid.
As promised, the video does feature two tigers, as well as a cathedral, a slomo flaming wreckage shot, and lots of making out. Born to Die marks Del Rey's first official studio video as the sultry singer transforms from YouTube sensation to full blown star.
Flying under the radar in the U.S., the Brooklyn singer-songwriter is posed to finally break out with her forthcoming debut album Born To Die, out Jan. 23.
Known for her gritty, image-heavy videos, this latest effort looks to be broader in scope - though it serves to further the singer's retro siren image.
Choose your last words / this is your last time / cause you and I / we were born to die, Del Rey sings on the new track.
Before reinventing herself as Lana Del Rey, the singer released an EP under her real name, Lizzy Grant, in 2009.
Her first self-titled LP as Lana Del Rey was released on iTunes in January 2010, but later deleted.
I would like people focused on my new music for now, Del Rey told Pitchfork in August.
There's not a real me and another me. Same person, just a different name, she added.
Long a topic of discussion -- both for her pouty lips and alluring music -- Del Rey's an enigma in the indie music world. Dubbed the gangster Nancy Sinatra, her first concerts this October sold out within minutes. Her latest shows have been fodder for more Internet gossip.
There seems to be a divide between the Del Rey seen in the videos and the Del Rey on stage. Her voice wobbles and her ambling stage presence is not quite in tune with the polished pinup model we're meant to drool over - but she's not far off.
Her managers are not shy about the role they played in creating the singer's new, highly-stylized fifties persona.
You might recognize Lana Del Rey already... perhaps from an old movie somewhere, but look closer and you might not, reads an official press release. Lana Del Rey is a young singer weaving cinematic dark pop for the 21st Century - music wrapped in smoky, sultry and glamorous overtones.
No matter where in the world Lana is, her love of film noir, Italian landscapes, big churches, roller coasters and the memory of faded stars like Bette Davis, Kurt Cobain, Nina Simone and Elvis are the chorus line for her music, and her love of New York is her heartbeat.
Del Rey is meant to be an old-school Hollywood babe for a splice-happy YouTube audience. Something both new and old. Something altogether timeless.
As the is she real or is she fake buzz swirls around, one thing's for sure: people are interested. Her (not quite) debut album is primed to be one of the most talked about releases of the New Year.
Watch the official video for Born To Die below: