The return of Lana Del Rey

By Jenna Ethridge
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Lana Del Rey performing at the KROQ Weenie Roast in 2017, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Since the release of “Born to Die” in 2012, Lana Del Rey has been consistently gaining popularity within the indie music community and venturing into more mainstream territory. Lana has since sold more than 15 million copies of her albums worldwide, her latest being “Lust for Life,” which came out last summer and features collaborations with A$AP Rocky, The Weeknd and Stevie Nicks.

On Sept. 12, “Mariners Apartment Complex” quickly made its rounds on social media, exciting fans for her new era. Known for her brooding, romanticized, damsel-in-distress persona, the new song took many by surprise. Lana addresses her morose history with lyrics such as, “Catch a wave and take in the sweetness. Think about it- the darkness, the deepness- all the things that make me who I am,” leading fans to believe that she is currently in a better mental state than when compared to previous albums.

The title and opening verse of, “You took my sadness out of context at the Mariners
Apartment Complex,” alludes to an interview with The Guardian at the Mariner’s Village Apartments from 2014, in which Lana expressed, “I wish I was dead already.”

Once the interview was published, Lana took to Twitter to express her discomfort during the forced interview, stating that the journalist was, “…masked as a fan…hiding sinister ambitions.”

The single was accompanied by a music video, featuring black and white shots of Lana with friends and the ocean. The ocean is a recurring symbol throughout Lana’s lyrics and videography, as she often seeks solace from paparazzi and the pressures of the world at the beach. The music video for “High by the Beach” from her 2015 album, “Honeymoon,” documents Lana frantically running down the stairs of her beach house, only to retrieve a firearm from a guitar case that is then used to destroy a paparazzi helicopter.

“Venice B—-” debuted just a week later on Beats 1 with Zane Lowe, accompanied by an interview with Lana regarding details about her forthcoming album. The album’s second single is a nine-and-a-half-minute power ballad consisting of electric guitar, synthesizer and lyrics documenting the end of a relationship with the conclusion of summer- evident by lyrics such as, “…and as the summer fades away, nothing gold can stay…”

The second single was also accompanied by a music video that seemed to be a continuation of “Mariners Apartment Complex,” a montage of California traffic and beaches, as well as Lana and her friends being pulled over for riding in the back of a moving pickup truck.

Her new album, “Norman F—— Rockwell,” is produced by Jack Antonoff , former member of Fun. and Bleachers, who has previously worked with Grammy award-winning artists such as Taylor Swift and Lorde. Norman Rockwell was a famous author, painter and illustrator who gained notoriety for his idealistic depictions of American culture on the covers of The Saturday Evening Post magazine, which he dedicated nearly 50 years of his life as an artist to. Lana has also referenced writers such as Robert Frost, Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman, and is publishing her own collection of poetry and short-stories titled, “Violet Bent Backwards Over the Garden.”

The album isn’t set to release until early next year, but a third single is anticipated for release in October.

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