Demi Lovato's 'SUBSTANCE' Video Is Chaotic Perfection

Demi Lovato's 'SUBSTANCE' Video Is Chaotic Perfection

by Bailey Richards

Scratch "Paris Hilton lights a stick of dynamite for Demi Lovato while they sit on a motorcycle together" off of your 2022 bingo card. In the explosive SSION-directed music video for "SUBSTANCE," the second single for Lovato’s upcoming album HOLY FVCK (out August 19), the singer releases 14 years' worth of pent-up rage in a perfect storm of pop culture, powerful vocals and pure, unadulterated messiness.

In the video, the singer, sporting a Mia Wallace bob, makes their way through a business meeting, a diner, a Love Island-esque promo shoot and an ‘80s anti-drug PSA before finally making it to the red carpet with Hilton — an unlikely duo that we are very here for.

Lovato stomping through sets and studio backlots is sure to give OG Lovatics "La La Land" flashbacks — and for good reason. "SUBSTANCE" may mark a new era for the singer, but it also marks a return to their pop-punk roots. It's been a long time since Lovato released their first studio album, and they have bigger things to be upset about than not being able to wear their converse with their dress.

With lines like, "Am I in my head or have we all lost it?" and "Got high, it only left me lonely and loveless/ Don't wanna end up in a casket, head full of maggots," the singer lays it all out on the line, opening up about their struggles with addiction and mental health, which they are a long-time advocate for, on their own terms — and with their signature powerhouse vocals.

"SUBSTANCE" may have had a rocky start — quite literally, as Lovato hit their head on a crystal and had to get stitches ahead of their Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance — but the "Confident" singer stuck the landing with flying colors — and food. What can we say? She’s really good.

Lovato gave PAPER an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at their explosive new era with "SUBSTANCE," below.

Photos courtesy of Angelo Kritikos