"I grow up with my records": in the mysteries of Lana Del Rey's new album (2023)

In her new album, the evanescent star reveals her soul to us, both luminous and melancholy, with rare sharpness and poetry. And recounts the twists and turns of the intimate like no other.

The American diva's latest opus,

Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard?

comes out in March.

Do we want to listen to it?

Yes, because Lana Del Rey continues to tell the questions and loves of the time better than anyone.

Last year, the singer surprised by publishing a collection of poems, marking her interest, often expressed during her interviews, for this particular form: during our initial meeting with her, in 2013, at the time of her first successes, she had abundantly quoted authors admired more than anything: Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan.

The latter, especially, arouses in her a distraught admiration, which she told us from the outset: “I had the chance to read Bob Dylan, to understand his process and his way of doing things.

I don't know why I'm so obsessed with him… He's my hero.

And I specify that I do not put myself at his level.

He is at the top for me.

Just like Kurt Cobain, despite his sad end: his way of managing to capture melodies that seem to come out of the air around you… It was the pinnacle of cool.

That day, she had also taken the time, following a question about her nails – which she always wears long and perfectly painted – to digress about the importance of her manicure.

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Another pinnacle of cool.

Two years later, she had remembered, during another meeting, these two subjects of conversation: literature and beauty, the very serious and the very light, gravity and appearance.

Was there something that would explain what this young woman really is?

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A restless soul

Despite the references, despite the records, Lana Del Rey is complicated to circumscribe.

She has never stopped, in ten years, to deceive her world, to do as she pleases, lining up more and more beautiful records because they are daring, adventurous, while remaining an absolute icon, particularly in fashion, surreptitiously fueling Alessandro Michele's creativity for several years at Gucci, which had established her as an almost official muse.

In the process, Lana gave birth to a generation of singers seeking to create, just like her, a compendium of glamor but haunted by something deeply disturbed, and which would fall under this "intranquillity" defined by the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa .

In her wake, we note, for example, Weyes Blood, a singer with a pronounced melancholy, and whose

sound art sometimes echoes that of Lana.

We also found Weyes Blood as a luminous guest on Lana Del Rey's penultimate album,

Chemtrails Over the Country Club

(2021), on which they covered the splendid

For Free

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together , a piece by their common idol, Joni Mitchell.

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About the latter, and its influence on her way of composing, Lana Del Rey already told us very humbly, in 2017, that she was definitely inspired by it.

What exactly does she take from him?

“The way of telling stories.

The way of expressing her interiority and the dialogues she has within her.

I love the fact that she thought of herself as a painter who couldn't help but become a musician.

Besides, I love the Laurel Canyon area.

With my friends, Jonathan Wilson and Father John Misty, we have formed a real musical community, like the one that existed around Joni and his friends.

California dreamin'

Telling stories from Laurel Canyon: this vast district of Los Angeles, which welcomed a community of rock and folk musicians in the 1960s and 1970s, became the refuge of Lana Del Rey, far from her origins which seen growing up in the Adirondack Mountains and then getting into music on the New York side.

Very quickly, she made California – and Los Angeles – her true home base and her records seem to tell the world from there.

By the way, what story does his new album really tell?

As often with her, the story of the disc seems to merge with an autobiographical form.

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I feel an internal shift and I try to chronicle it

Lana Del Rey

Are his love songs intimate stories?

Nothing is certain with her.

The distance put into the song, the melancholy of the voice, the always dual way of murmuring the words, between assurance and evanescence, gives the whole an air of postmodern commentary on the world as it is going – and especially on the way we love each other, we leave each other, we get back together, we forget each other, we love each other again.

Here again, Lana Del Rey draws up a map of the love meanders of an era in full turbulence on the subject.

And she does it with rawness, even cruelty, without appeal.

And that first of all with regard to him.

The amorous relationships that she utters and sings are filled with a muted violence, as if she were waging a perpetual fight, a solitary fight, in which the pursuit of love goes through an emotional roller coaster and most of the other vicissitudes of the time.


Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard

, the track that gives the album its title, she sings like a lonely soul remembering her heroes, clinging to them, to their songs (she quotes John Lennon and Harry Nilsson, cursed singer) and she says these words so crude:

“When's it gonna be my turn?

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/ Open me up, tell me you like it / Fuck me to death,

(When will my turn come? / Open me up, tell me you like it / Fuck me to death, love me until I love myself).

On another track,



, she tells a miserable love story and does so by navigating between genres, moving from melancholy folk to dark, slowed-down rap, as if to underline the various facets, contrary and complementary, that constitute.

At the end of the listening, we understand that Lana Del Rey gathers in her all the contradictions and all the impulses of the time, capable of mixing the most opposite polarities, to make a perfect unity in the same creative gesture.

Recovered time

In the past two years, after having long been one of the stars of YouTube, with her clips that she edited herself, she announced her withdrawal from social networks, abandoning especially Instagram where she had long been very present.

A marker of the era?

This withdrawal goes hand in hand with this zeitgeist which underlines the need to regain control of it, not to let oneself be overwhelmed by the perpetual zapping, to listen rather than submit.

His new album is in line with this.

Written from a dark but combative point of view, it offers numerous and long tracks: sixteen in total, each running at more than four minutes, sometimes up to seven. The time that Lana takes and offers to those who '

To dive into his music, into the musical exploration of his loneliness and his love searches, is to scrutinize a soul as closely as possible.

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At the end of her nine albums, we think we know her a little better.

“I grew up with my records, she told us already, I feel an internal shift and I try to chronicle it.

She is growing, and we with her, and, just like her, we continue to search, to try to give time back to time.


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