If “Love,” the dreamy first single from Lana Del Rey's upcoming album, Lust for Life, felt like more of the same from the soporific singer-songwriter, the newly released title track is a refreshing about-face. Opening with the sound of a motorcycle revving its engine, “Lust for Life” reprises the themes—youth, love, death, escape—of countless Del Rey songs before it: “They say only the good die young/That just ain't right/'Cause we're having too much fun,” she laments. Some '60s girl-group shoops underscore Del Rey's spoken passages, which make nods to the Angels's “My Boyfriend's Back.”
Lana Del Rey (#1–10 of 46)
Reports that Lana Del Rey had hit the recording studio with both Emile Haynie (who co-produced much of the singer's 2012 album Born to Die) and Benny Blanco (best known for his work with Kesha and Katy Perry) suggested she might be putting a modern twist on the throwback sound that made her famous. The first taste of those sessions, though, sounds like more of the same, with Del Rey winsomely crooning about cool kids who are “young and in love” set to a minimalist but heady symphonic arrangement that's reliably, even comfortingly formulaic. “I get ready, I get all dressed up/To go nowhere in particular,” she sings on “Love,” as if describing an entire generation as well as her creative method.
Fox Searchlight Pictures
When I left my apartment in Brooklyn for John F. Kennedy International Airport, late at night on November 8th, neither Hilary Rodham Clinton nor Donald J. Trump had yet secured the 270 electoral votes necessary to be elected the 45th president of the United States. By the time I got through security checks and made it to my gate—where TV screens were broadcasting returns from key battleground states—the race was called. Of course, I needn't hear the result: I saw it on the faces of the people waiting to board, a mix of utter shock and overwhelming concern that the future of our republic would be determined by the most inexperienced, unqualified, and roundly disreputable person to ever hold the highest office.
Late last night Lana Del Rey dropped the nostalgic music video for “Freak,” the latest single from last year's Honeymoon. It's no big secret that the singer is enamored with all things past, and the clip, co-starring Father John Misty, is a hazy, drug-dosed trip back to 1960s California. In her 2012 song “Gods & Monsters,” Del Rey conjured Jim Morrison, and she resurrects him again here via Misty, who does an uncanny Lizard King impression. The pair drinks Kool-Aid, drops a tab of acid, and is soon joined by the girls from Del Rey's “Music to Watch Boys to” video. The 11-minute clip then segues from “Freak” into Debussy's “Clair de Lune” as the group of would-be lovers float angelically underwater for over five minutes. Watch the video below:
After last month's string-laden ballad “Honeymoon,” from her upcoming album of the same name, hinted at a return to form, Lana Del Rey has unveiled the LP's official lead single, “High by the Beach.” As promised, the song skews more toward the slick trip-hop of Born to Die than the rootsy rock of last year's Ultraviolence, featuring crisp, clear vocals atop an even crisper, clearer trap beat and a hypnotic, percolating synth line. Though it's an understated single by today's pop standards, boasting lyrics like “You could be a bad motherfucker, but that don't make you a man,” it's handily Del Rey's catchiest single since “Summertime Sadness” or at least “National Anthem.” When she breathlessly delivers the syncopated hook, just a hair behind the beat (“The truth is I never bought into your bullshit/When you would pay tribute to me”), lazy, revenge- and smoke-filled summer days never sounded so sweet. Listen below:
Lana Del Rey has unveiled the music video for the standout title track from her latest album, Ultraviolence. Donning an understated wedding dress, the singer strolls casually through a garden, peeling an orange and putting the succulent fruit to her pillowy lips, and nibbling on the cameraman's fingers. (We never see him, so it's unclear if it's her groom or someone else.) Directed by Francesco Corrozzini and shot in handheld, Super 8-style, “Ultraviolence” is a throwback to Del Rey's early DIY videos. She's proven she can do high-pitched narratives well (see “Tropico”), but the new video is another reminder that she excels at low-concept too.
1. “Gary Oldman Interview.” Read Playboy's candid conversation with one of Hollywood's best actors about acting, political corectness and his defense of Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin.
“I just think political correctness is crap. That's what I think about it. I think it's like, take a fucking joke. Get over it. I heard about a science teacher who was teaching that God made the earth and God made everything and that if you believe anything else you're stupid. A Buddhist kid in the class got very upset about this, so the parents went in and are suing the school! The school is changing its curriculum! I thought, All right, go to the school and complain about it and then that's the end of it. But they're going to sue! No one can take a joke anymore. I don't know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we've all said those things. We're all fucking hypocrites. That's what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word nigger or that fucking Jew? I'm being brutally honest here. It's the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy. Or maybe I should strike that and say 'the N word' and 'the F word,' though there are two F words now.”
Lana Del Rey has unveiled yet another track from her new album, Ultraviolence, out June 17th on Interscope Records. Co-written by the singer's beau, Barrie O'Neill of the band Kassidy (“My boyfriend's in a band,” she boasts several times throughout), the quietly haunting “Brooklyn Baby” is the most understated of the songs previewed from the album so far, and at nearly six minutes, it's also the longest. A generous helping of reverb makes Del Rey's vocals sound like they were recorded at the bottom of a well, her catchy “da-da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da” trills echoing the opening guitar melody in between wistful references to Lou Reed, the '70s, and hydroponic weed. Listen below:
On the heels of lead single “West Coast” and album cut “Shades of Cool,” Lana Del Rey has premiered the title track from her upcoming LP, Ultraviolence. She slurs some expectedly eyebrow-raising lyrics (“I can hear sirens, sirens/He hit me and it felt like a kiss”) throughout the laconic, string-laden torch song, making reference to a man named Jim and pledging her devotion in Spanglish during a spoken bridge: “Yo soy la princesa…You're my cult leader.” Del Rey's self-deprecating masochism reaches a new high (or low) here, as she lamentably conflates pain with love, but it's hard not to be seduced by both the singer's hazy, misguided bliss and producer Dan Auerbach's woozy atmospherics.
Ultraviolence drops June 17th.
Lana Del Rey's lyrics are littered with references to sugar daddies and other ostensible paternal figures. Plagued by rumors that her own pop, a wealthy Internet entrepreneur, bankrolled her career, it's surprising that Del Rey would continue to perpetuate the image of the gold-digging ingénue in her work. But that's exactly what she does in the music video for “West Coast,” the haunting lead single from her upcoming album, Ultraviolence. The clip was posted on Vevo today before being removed for as-yet-unexplained reasons.