Monday 14 April 2014

Lana Del Rey - West Coast

She started off so well.  When Video Games first hit the internet way back in Summer 2011, Del Rey’s mix of retro glamour and modern hip-hop cool was instantly heralded as the next big thing.

What followed was a debut album that wavered from the sublime to the weird or just plain dull; a deluxe edition including new songs with ridiculous lyrics (you know the one – I can’t look at Pepsi Cola the same way); a joke of an H&M ad campaign with an utterly forced sense of cool and a terrible Blue Velvet cover; and an obvious spot on Baz Lurhmann’s Great Gatsby soundtrack.  It’s fair to say that, over time, Del Rey has become a cliché of herself.

It comes as excellent news, then, that she’s redeemed herself with her new track West Coast.  This is still the same sultry, nationalistic Lana that fans have come to love, with a husky vocal delivery that lounges lazily over the production like a Hollywood starlet on a chaise longue (complete with questionable diction).  The song is split into two halves: a somewhat menacing uptempo (for Del Rey) verse, followed by a woozy and seductive chorus.  As a whole, the song has a darker and more angsty tone, with a focus on muted guitars and spiky rhythms that’s reminiscent of The Neighbourhood and their excellent track Sweater Weather.  It’s enough of a change to invite some new fans to the party – the sort of party where glamorous hipsters dance in slow motion to music on LP, coiled in a haze of smoke and whiskey.

With West Coast, Del Rey is back where she belongs: setting trends with her glamorous cool.  Welcome back.


Listen: West Coast is released on 18th April and will feature on forthcoming album 'Ultraviolence'.