Sunday 22 July 2018

'With her David Lynch-like introspection, singer Lana Del Rey can make Lady Gaga look like Dana' - Barry Egan

 

Lana Del Ray.
Lana Del Ray.

Languorous lullabies with a retro, slightly sinister edge your thing? Well then, you should look no further than mysterious songbird Lana Del Rey. She does it as well as anyone (listen to her on Sad Girl from her 2014 album Ultraviolence, where she sings: "Being a mistress on the side/It might not appeal to fools like you/We've been around on the side/Wanna be something you would do.")

It is almost like she was born to it. Lana once said that when she was younger, she "felt lonely, in terms of my thought processes". She continued: "I had the constant feeling that I thought differently to everyone around me. So, I suppose I felt lonely for a home. I didn't know where I wanted to be, but I knew I wasn't there yet.

"I think that this loneliness set a dark undertone for things to come." Lana - born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant on June 21, 1986, in New York before moving to Lake Placid - added that when she "was a kid playing in bars in Lake Placid, after every show somebody would come up to me and be like 'You must be a David Lynch fan!' At the time I wasn't up on 'all things cool', but I looked into Lynch and quickly became a fan. Although I think the themes he explores are a step further into the extreme than I'm prepared to go."

"Where am I going to get my inspiration?" the introverted high priest of moodiness Lana Del Rey boo-hooed in 2015.

"I couldn't think of a thing today that I would really genuinely want to be a part of."

This Grand Guignol-esque melodrama was nothing compared to her whiny interview with The Guardian a few years back, where she said: "I wish I was dead already. I don't want to have to keep doing this. But I am. That's just how I feel. If it wasn't that way, then I wouldn't say it."

Lana Del Ray
Lana Del Ray

This can only be a good thing as her songs are generally fascinating exercises in Lady Gaga-ish examination of the self.

Be that as it may, on her new album Lust For Life, Lana seems to be interested in the world outside of her own psyche.

On Change, she sings: 'There's something in the wind, I can feel it blowing in/It's coming in softly on the wings of a bomb/There's something in the wind, I can feel it blowing in'.

"I feel like this election jolted almost everyone who was floating around, feeling weird, whatever…right into the current moment," Lana told Flaunt Magazine recently. "I know several people that had a sort of drifter mentality that are now in the thick of it, considering things."

Sixteen songs, and 72 minutes, Lust For Lust will not change the world, or Trump, but it is a weirdly enjoyable listen. It has the likes of Stevie Nicks (Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems), the Weeknd (Lust For Life), ASAP Rocky (Groupie Love and Summer Bummer), Sean Ono Lennon (Tomorrow Never Came) making cameos, but the real star is always Ms Del Rey, who can sometimes, with her David Lynch-like introspection, make Lady Gaga look like Dana.

Lana is nothing if not unusual, as she would tell you herself. "I was always an unusual girl," she once said. "My mother told me I had a chameleon soul, no moral compass pointing due north, no fixed personality - just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide and as wavering as the ocean."

Lana Del Ray - Ultraviolence.
Lana Del Ray - Ultraviolence.

And then: "When you're an introvert like me and you've been lonely for a while, and then you find someone who understands you, you become really attached to them. It's a real release."

So is, clearly, Lust For Life.

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