“I only mention it ’cause it was such a scene, and I felt seen.”
Those are the lyrics heard on the first track of Lana Del Rey’s album that released last March, “Chemtrails over the Country Club.” The first song of the album is titled “White Dress,” which tells the story of Rey as a 19-year-old waitress enjoying the last revenants of her adolescence and the hopeful beginnings of her adulthood.
“White Dress” sets the dreamy tone of “Chemtrails over the Country Club,” where each song feels like Rey is reliving a youthful memory. Each song on the album cascades into the other and tells stories of love, self-growth and resilience against emotional hardship.
Rey is known for creating slow music with deep orchestrated instruments, carrying her rich voice throughout her tracks. “Chemtrails over the Country Club,” is no exception to this, and every song on the album has a mellow beat and soft vocals. It’s a great album for relaxed, long drives or pretending your life is an A24 indie film.
When hearing the album in order, listeners discover a story of developing individuality within romantic relationships. In the second track – which shares the same name as the entire album – “Chemtrails over the Country Club” Rey sings about two young, carefree lovers who contemplate God and “laugh about nothing.” She adds that their relationship has a partner who is “in the wind” while she’s “in the water” as “nobody’s son, nobody’s daughter,” where the lovers begin to experience love outside of the bounds of their parents.
A few songs later, Rey sings “Let Me Love You Like a Woman,” which focuses on the idea of getting happily lost in the act of abundantly extending love and care to a lover. This carries on the beautiful theme of romance in “Chemtrails over the Country Club.” This theme takes on a change by track six, “Dark but Just a Game,” where Rey and her lover view life as a crazy world with “no rose left on the vine,” but are happy they have each other to overcome life’s challenges.
Once the album hits that turning point, listeners begin to hear songs that dive into the troubles being in love can bring. Juxtaposing with “Chemtrails over the Country Club,” track nine “Breaking Up Slowly” recalls Rey breaking things off with her lover. “Breaking Up Slowly” is gentle, but chilling, where Rey says she loves her man, and “it’s hard to be lonely, but it’s the right thing to do.”
“Chemtrails over the Country Club” puts love and youth into perspective and is wrapped in Rey’s typical Americana symbolism. If looking to rejoice in (or cry about) past love stories, this album is sure to do the job.