Singer, songwriter, poet, author, and creative director – these are just a few of what makes Elizabeth Grant. On the other hand, alt-pop icon, cinematic glamourise, and tragic romanticist are some of what carries her persona, her alter-ego, Lana Del Rey.
Lana Del Rey is an enigma, an elusive chanteuse who has captured the hearts and souls of music lovers everywhere. Her unique sound and style have set her apart from other artists, earning her a legion of devoted fans who are captivated by her haunting melodies and introspective lyrics. Her songs are a seminal moment in pop culture and she continues to push boundaries with each new release. But despite her popularity, she remains shrouded in mystery with an elusiveness that only adds to her allure, leaving fans and critics alike wondering: what secrets lie behind the enigmatic facade of Lana Del Rey?
Her musical style can be described as a unique fusion of various genres, including pop, rock, and indie, with a vintage, cinematic feel. Her music often incorporates dream pop, trip-hop, and psychedelic rock elements, with lyrics that explore themes of love, loss, nostalgia, and Americana. Lana’s music is characterized by her sultry and melancholic vocals, which are often layered over lush, orchestral arrangements and haunting, atmospheric soundscapes. Her songs often have a cinematic quality, evoking a sense of timelessness and nostalgia that has resonated with audiences around the world. Her musical style is known for its emotive, ethereal, and introspective qualities that set her apart from other contemporary artists.
While her music generally falls under the broader genres of pop, rock, and indie, her specific sound has evolved and changed over the course of her career, with each album featuring a slightly different style and sound.
For instance, her breakthrough album “Born to Die” (2012) featured a cinematic and orchestral sound, while her subsequent albums “Ultraviolence” (2014) and “Honeymoon” (2015) incorporated elements of psychedelic rock and dream pop, respectively. Her album “Lust for Life” (2017) introduced a more hip-hop-infused, pop-oriented sound, while her twin albums “Chemtrails over the Country Club” (2021) and “Blue Bannisters” (2021) featured a more stripped-down, acoustic note. Overall, while her music has maintained a consistent, distinct quality throughout her career, there have been notable shifts and changes in her sound and style from album to album.
When it comes to Lana Del Rey’s sound, it’s hard to find another artist who can compare. She’s got this unique ability to combine vintage and modern elements, creating an atmosphere that transports you to another time and place. Her stories are filled with longing, rejection, regret, and acceptance, all making you feel like you’re reading a classic novel. That novel? Valley of the Dolls.
In her new single, ‘A&W’, for her new highly-anticipated album “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” out March 24, the singer-songwriter transforms herself faster than a chameleon on steroids while slaying a folk-trap banger…that’s essentially her style on steroids. It’s like a musical rollercoaster, but instead of nausea and screams, you get a crash course in Lana’s trademark sound. It’s wild, it’s wacky, it’s downright dark, and it’s everything you never knew you needed.
However, despite her established musical style, ‘A&W’ stands out as a unique creation, unlike anything she has produced before. It is a psychedelic and chaotic composition that journeys from frustration to the euphoric release of embracing one’s role as an outsider. As the song concludes, she teasingly taunts her love interest with a cunning and mischievous smile. Lana has always demonstrated a fearless approach to creativity that defies conventional norms, but ‘A&W’ epitomizes her unfettered wildness. It is a hybrid, eerie, and surreal folk-trap ballad that was crafted purely through the power of her star quality.
The track titled ‘A&W’ has a double meaning – it can refer to the popular soda beverage, or to ‘American Whore’, as revealed by the illustrious producer, Jack Antonoff. Lana’s clever use of references like the true crime show Forensic Files, alongside her interpolation of a timeless doo-wop classic by way of the 1959 R&B song “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop” by Little Anthony and the Imperials, all serve to highlight the artist’s remarkable musical genius. The appearance of a character named Jimmy, who may be the same enigmatic Jim who has pervaded her previous works, as well as the use of manipulated strings akin to those found on her previous album “NFR” (2019), solidify this song as a prime example of Lana’s characteristic musical motifs.
‘A&W’ is a song that defies easy categorization. It’s a freakish and otherworldly creation, one that blurs the boundaries between folk, trap, and psychedelia. Lana Del Rey’s haunting vocals, layered over a collage of chopped-up, tape-filtered strings, create an atmosphere of dread and unease that is impossible to ignore. As the song progresses, it builds in intensity, culminating in a delirious explosion of sound that is both exhilarating and unsettling. This is Lana Del Rey at her most daring and experimental, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in music and leaving the listener both mesmerized and unnerved. If you’re looking for something truly out of the ordinary, something that will stay with you long after the final notes have faded, then ‘A&W’ is the song for you.
While Lana Del Rey continues to evolve, someone in her family tree is evolving as well. It is a curious thing when talent runs in the family. As the international icon is recognized for her unique and haunting musical stylings, it appears that her father, Rob Grant, possesses a similar gift. The man who once watched from the sidelines as his daughter soared to fame is now stepping into the spotlight with his debut album’s release. The internet has positively crowned him, “Nepo Daddy”.
Thank you for such an incredible response to ‘Lost At Sea’❤️
I can’t tell you what it means to me to read your wonderful comments and to share your thoughts and feelings… pic.twitter.com/wdcgqmgeFe
— Rob Grant (@robgrantdotcom) February 27, 2023
“Lost At Sea,” as it is called and set to debut June 9, promises to be a fascinating addition to the musical landscape. Grant’s lack of formal training is no obstacle to the raw talent that seems to emanate from him effortlessly. With his single out, ‘Setting Sail On A Distant Horizon’, this composition is promised to be worthwhile, his piano playing is mesmerizing, each note flowing effortlessly from his fingertips as if he has been playing his whole life. And when he looks out over the ocean on the album cover, surrounded by a flock of seagulls, it is as if he is tapping into some primal force of nature. With “Lost At Sea,” Rob Grant is poised to take the music world by storm. His daughter may have blazed the trail for him, but it is clear that he is a talent in his own right. One can only imagine the dark and mysterious depths he will plumb with his music, and what secrets he will reveal to those who listen.
It’s no secret that Lana Del Rey is one of the most fascinating musicians of our time. Since bursting onto the scene in 2011 with her retro-pop hit ‘Video Games’, she’s captivated fans with her unique sound and elusive persona. But as much as we love her for it, this air of mystery can sometimes leave us wanting more. Who is the real Lana Del Rey, and what lies behind that haunting voice and enigmatic stage presence? It’s a question that’s been on the minds of fans and critics alike, and one that we may never fully answer – because it doesn’t matter.
After all, isn’t the mystery part of what makes her so captivating in the first place?
Header image courtesy of Mat Hayward for Getty Images