A sultry cacophony of haunting, echoey vocals that wouldn’t go amiss seeping from a dust-smothered gramophone, the intro to Honeymoon oozes that trademark sex appeal that can only be expected from modern Americana muse, Lana Del Rey. Her prowess is a significant subject of her enigma come the third release, having mellowed down the innocence of Born to Die and the smoky, rash image associated with Ultraviolence.
Music to Watch Boys To is a cloud of wispy vocals, coated in velvet and display a confession of hopeless romance; “I like you a lot, so I do what you want”, an image of confusion and lust for a man that is the apparent muse for the album. Terrence Loves You, which subtly references David Bowie’s Space Oddity, floats along the same sense of rhythm, whispering angelic vocals amongst a gentle piano score, Del Rey paints the picture of a lonely Californian cocktail bar, whilst she is sat with a whisky, halfheartedly mumbling of lovers lost.
Her melancholic drones ensue in single release High By the Beach, a song which experiments with pale hip hop transitions muted beneath her initial slow-paced craft, whilst allowing Del Rey to dabble with the urban West Coast sound. The trickle into the interlude is greeted with a dreamy rendition of T.S Eliot’s Burnt Norton, an unexpected feature that somehow cosily slots into breaking up the prolonged dismal atmosphere. Art Deco is the audible equality of slow motion bats of fluttery eyelashes, the lyrics like melted butter through fingertips, with an effortless and almost uncaring attitude. The album’s lack of instrumental dynamics was expected, as Ultraviolence only merely touched on the use of 70’s guitar riffs and pedals, however her music is unique for this instance, as it is so beautifully transparent with words and emotion alone.
Lana’s releases foray a journey, of longing, sadness, desperation and ambition, which has thrust her into the spotlight of a cult Tumblr ‘sad goth’ aesthetic, where her music speaks to such a wide and diverse audience who are in awe of her character. The wonderful addition of Nina Simone cover Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood is a defining finale statement, that is a declaration for all those who have criticised or questioned her somewhat forced persona, and begs for those to not assume she is what she is always portrayed as.
The hapless addiction of love and the dirty side of the Californian dream that is felt throughout makes the mourning caress of the release seem like a honeymoon that was dreamt up whilst nursing heartbreak and dissatisfaction, and perhaps that is just the charm of Lana Del Rey.
Words by Becca Fergus