Dua Lipa powers through an uncertain future in her cinematic new song “Swan Song,” featured in Robert Rodriguez’s new cyberpunk action film, Alita: Battle Angel. The James Cameron-produced movie hits theaters on February 14th.
“I can’t lie — I’m scared to open my eyes/’Cause what if I find nothing at all?” Lipa croons over muted electronics, airy synths, stabbing brass samples and vocal chants. Later, she builds on that feeling of urgency in the pre-chorus: “You know the time is running, running out/Only I see the diamonds, diamonds breaking down/I won’t stay quiet, I won’t stay quiet/’Cause staying silent’s the same as dying.”
Lipa also stars in the song’s video, set on the streets of the film’s Iron City. The singer rummages through ruins, performs choreography and martial arts, runs from a massive robot and gazes into a mirror at the film’s titular CGI protagonist.
The clip’s director, Floria Sigismondi, said in a statement that she wanted the visual to tap into the film’s themes of self-discovery. “While in the film, Alita is quite literally on a journey to discover who she is,” she said. “Her story serves as a really powerful allegory for any girl who doesn’t yet know her own power. I wanted to play with that same profound notion by dropping Dua into a facet of Alita’s world and allowing Alita to serve as a surrogate that leads her on a journey to discover she’s stronger than she ever could have imagined.”
Following her debut LP, 2017’s Dua Lipa, the singer has collaborated on singles with Calvin Harris (“One Kiss”) and the Diplo-Mark Ronson project Silk City (“Electricity”). She’s nominated for two Grammys at the 2019 ceremony: Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording (for “Electricity”).