On the heels of her long-awaited and celebrated debut album, CTRL, SZA drops a new video for the album’s emotional standout, “Drew Barrymore.” Like the rest of the album, this song handles the complexities of being the other woman. CTRL gives dimension to the narrative of being a ‘side-chick,’ developing a voice for all of the anxiety and self-doubts that come with the moniker. The video features the first lady of TDE trekking through a snowy NYC as she sings a vexed hook, yearning to know what it would take to be enough. Scenes of SZA innocently sledding and attempting to go about her day are juxtaposed by dimly lit and voyeuristic looks at her destructive coping mechanisms. For every seemingly jovial moment, SZA makes disarming eye contact with the viewer, exposing herself as haunted by desire and rejection.
Shots of her as a threadbare bride-to-be in a laundromat are almost as gutting as SZA’s potent verse: ‘I get so lonely, I forget what I’m worth / We get so lonely, we pretend that this works.’ The attention to detail gives the video the same emotional nuance as the track, with SZA and company posted under a sign that reads ‘DISAPPEAR HERE,’ paired with us getting glimpses of the singer filtered through another woman’s sunglasses. The video’s resolution comes when SZA stretches across the edge of a snow-covered roof. The camera pans to give the illusion of her tumbling over, yet her body is firmly planted beside her support system. These final seconds give “Drew Barrymore” the same closure as we get on CTRL: SZA finds her peace and her balance.
You can pick up a digital copy of her debut album, CTRL, here.