Is there any pop star who knows their own brand better than Lana Del Rey knows hers? In a self-aware move, she harks back to her early vintage Americana aesthetic with the music videos for her two recent singles, “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “Venice Bitch,” which she premiered on Apple’s Beats 1 radio show with Zane Lowe.
The singer revealed she has known since March that her forthcoming sixth studio album she worked on with producer Jack Antonoff will be called Norman Fucking Rockwell, and opens with a song-slash-story of the same title "about this guy who is such a genius artist but he thinks he’s the shit and he knows it, and he, like, won't shut up talking about it." The singer also references the iconic American painter in “Venice Bitch,” but admitted to Lowe that she cannot remember if she added the reference into the single intentionally or not.
After her management team requested a typical three-minute (read: radio-friendly) pop song and bristled at the thought of releasing her nine-and-a-half-minute long track called “Venice Bitch,” Del Rey simply refused to comply, and put out a soothing end of season song. “I was like, ‘Well, end of summer, some people just wanna drive around for 10 minutes [and] get lost in some electric guitar,’” she told Lowe. She has a point—sometimes you just want to chill and zone out to Lana Del Rey's stripped down vocals and some soothing guitar, or watch some found footage of old cars ambling along an American highway to nowhere.
Fans can remain confident that the Norman Fucking Rockwell album drop date is quickly approaching, because Del Rey told Lowe, “I don’t like to put something new out unless I know what the whole record is going to sound like. I like to put stuff out when I’m almost done, and also I love September. I selfishly wanted to put out a couple of cute songs. Calling her collaboration with Antonoff “a happy accident,” the singer explained that she wants to put out another single in October, but is not sure that it would be upbeat or pop enough for the radio. "It's sort of like a standalone song, it's not a fun one, just a serious, thoughtful one," Del Rey told Lowe.
Even if that single never makes it to the radio, keep faith that in addition to to conquering the charts with a new studio album early next year, the overachieving pop star will attempt to make herself as ubiquitous as possible in all mediums. The singer is dipping her toes into just about every other creative endeavor she could possibly try—she’s in the process of getting her pilot’s license (which apparently requires 37 hours of logged flight time, or “eternity” according to the singer), learning to sail, painting, writing haikus, and putting together an anthology of short stories and poems called Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass. No one knows how to one-up themselves quite like Lana Del Rey.
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