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.
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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
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