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Tag: Lana Del Rey (1-10 of 27)

Lana Del Rey sends more mixed messages with 'Ultraviolence' video

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Lana Del Rey’s debut album, Born to Die, proved to be something of a feminist ink blot: To some observers, the aspects of traditional American ideals of feminine subservience she’d woven deeply into her personal aesthetic, as well as her frequent use of Kennedy-era cultural signifiers, were a postmodern statement about her independence as an artist and a person. Others took it all at face value and simply saw a woman embracing dangerously retrograde ideas about how a woman should act, appear, and express herself.

If nothing else, Ultraviolence has doubled down on this ambiguity with its running theme of submissive relationships with men, and nowhere else on the album does that come through as strongly as on the title song, with its lyrical juxtaposition of a woman who’s “blessed with beauty and rage” and a lover who she calls her “cult leader,” not to mention its prominent but ambiguous reference to the Crystal’s “He Hit Me and It Felt Like a Kiss.”

Its video pushes things even further, with Super 8 footage of Del Rey in a postwar wedding dress sucking on the cameraman’s thumb and kneeling at the altar of a seemingly abandoned chapel. Is it a commentary on outdated gender roles? Is she just playing nuptial dress-up? Is she maybe just trolling us at this point?

Hear Lana Del Rey's 'Ultraviolence' remixes

Unofficial remixes of the title track from Lana Del Rey’s new Ultraviolence have been popping up all over Soundcloud since the album dropped last month, but the first batch of sanctioned versions just got posted yesterday.

Like her past remixes, which have come from everyone from drum-and-bass pioneer Photek to surrealist political rap group Das Racist, the “Ultraviolence” reimaginings pull together three very different acts who push the song in distinctly different directions: PBR Streetgang roughs it up with a harsh electro edge, Sonic Matta transforms it into a smoothly bumping emulation of classic house, and the Penelopes use the original’s wah-wah guitar part as the basis for a disco-inspired version drenched in strings, brass, and deliciously cheesy ’70s electronic effects.


AraabMuzik remixes Lana Del Rey's 'Summertime Sadness': Listen

NYC producer AraabMuzik is a virtuoso of the MPC whose freakish talent for making beats and remixing tracks on the fly has made him a jaw-dropping live performer in a field that often seems dominated by antisocial studio rats. In between blowing minds on stage he produces remixes that combine EDM’s electronic bombast with the sonic aggression of old-school NYC street rap, and just in time for both summer and the release of Lana Del Rey’s brand-new Ultraviolence, he’s dropped an arena-ready version of “Summertime Sadness” from her 2012 album Born to Die. It’ll appear on his upcoming mixtape For Professional Use Only 2, out July 15.

Stream it below: READ FULL STORY

The Breakdown: Lana Del Rey's 'Ultraviolence' influences, by the numbers

Lana Del Rey’s 2012 debut, Born to Die, made her a weirdly controversial cult star. Last year’s one-two punch of “Young and Beautiful” and Cedric Gervais’s remix of the Born to Die track “Summertime Sadness” proved that she could hack it in the Top 40. Del Rey’s highly anticipated Ultraviolence, released this week, was supposed to prove that her popularity so far wasn’t just a fluke. So far it seems to be succeeding: Ultraviolence is a more coherent album than Born to Die; it also doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to prove how cool it is. In a review for this week’s EWKyle Anderson gives it an A.

For the debut installment of a new feature called The Breakdown, where we examine the inspirations behind the records that everyone’s talking about, we’ll take the album apart and see what makes it great.

READ FULL STORY

Lana Del Rey sang for free at Kimye's wedding

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Despite the rumors that Lana Del Rey cashed in big ($2.8 million seemed to be a popular number) for her performance at Kim and Kanye’s wedding, the songstress told TMZ that she did it for free.

“I would never charge a friend to sing at their wedding,” she told the crowd that greeted her at LAX this morning. “That would be crazy.” Lana is the lady, after all, who sang, “I am f—ing crazy/But I am free.”


Eminem, OutKast, Pearl Jam, Beck lead Austin City Limits lineup

Summer festival season has only just begun, but it’s already time to start thinking about where you’re going to binge on music this fall. You can start with Slim Shady himself, who is the just-announced headliner at the annual Austin City Limits Festival.

READ FULL STORY

Moody summer vibes on Lana Del Rey's new single 'West Coast': hear it here

Lana Del Rey unveiled her new single “West Coast,” at Coachella last weekend — and in case you weren’t part of the desert masses this year, you can check it out below. The bluesy summer tune is off of her upcoming album Ultraviolence, which drops May 1st.

There’s a heavy influence from producer Dan Auerbach, The Black Keys frontman who has been working with her on the album. Can you catch the threads of The Beatles’ “And I Love Her“?

READ FULL STORY

The Oscar music snubs: no love for Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, 'Llewyn Davis' or Coldplay

Check to make sure the rivers haven’t turned to blood and all first-borns aren’t suddenly afflicted with pox, because the impossible has happened: Taylor Swift was not nominated for an award.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ passing on Swift’s “Sweeter Than Fiction” (from the film One Chance) is easily one of the most high-profile snubs from this morning’s Oscar nominations announcement. The song was nominated for a Golden Globe and seemed like an obvious pick for an invite on Oscar night, if only because people love giving Taylor Swift gold trophies (and also because it would have brought some much-needed youth to the Oscar party).

Instead, the contenders in the Best Original Song category are U2’s “Ordinary Love” (from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom), Karen O’s “The Moon Song” (Her), Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” (Despicable Me 2), Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel’s “Alone But Not Alone” (from the deeply obscure Christian film of the same name), and the song “Let It Go” from the Disney blockbuster Frozen, which is performed by Idina Menzel and written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. (It’s the writers, not the performers, who take home the gold.)

The race seems to be down to the Golden Globe winner and sentimental favorite “Ordinary Love” (which would be as much an award for the late Nelson Mandela as it would be for U2) and the sales juggernaut “Let It Go” (which has propelled the Frozen soundtrack to the top of the mainstream album chart and elevated it to gold status). “Happy” and “The Moon Song” are much longer shots, but both are both cool choices crafted by deeply respected members of the music world.

Of course, that leaves “Alone But Not Alone,” one of the most inexplicable Oscar nominations in the history of the awards. The film barely exists, and the song itself is a dreary dirge of a hymn that sounds like it should be played in the midst of a sleepy Sunday morning mass. It has virtually no chance of winning, and its legacy will be as a bizarre curiosity in a category notorious for them.

It would be a less shocking inclusion if the Oscar nomination shortlist (75 songs in all) didn’t contain so many markedly stronger options. READ FULL STORY

Miley Cyrus reminds us all that she can sing, covers Lana Del Rey

The lady who twerks can also sing — when she’s not busy lighting up a stunt doobie.

Miley Cyrus followed up her headline-ready performance at the MTV EMA Music Awards over the weekend with a stirring performance for Live Lounge on BBC Radio 1. After performing her hit “Wrecking Ball,” the singer, clad in a black turtleneck (Is this the most shocking thing she could wear at this point?), sang a slightly country-influenced version of Lana Del Rey’s contemplative ballad, “Summertime Sadness.”

Longtime Cyrus fans will note that this cover is very reminiscent of some tracks she memorably covered for her December 2012 “Backyard Sessions,” where she garnered attention for her stripped-down, emotionally naked performances.

Check out video of her cover below: READ FULL STORY

Lana Del Rey comes from behind to help dislodge the boys of summer

How perfect is it that the Cedric Gervais dance remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” has marked the end of the season? It broke into the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 in mid-August, as the melancholy anticipation of fall was just beginning to kick in, and it slipped one spot (to tenth place place) this week, just as two important seasonal milestones were passed: Labor Day and unseating of the Song of the Summer, the Robin Thicke juggernaut “Blurred Lines,” from number one.

We have Katy Perry and her charming “Roar” to thank for the second event, which suggests—along with the vertiginous advancement of some other key women in pop—a new synchronicity’s fully in play on the charts. But more on that in a moment. The rise of “Summertime Sadness,” a song that debuted in its original form on the second day of the summer last year, is not merely a poetic capper to a few paradoxically cheerless months dominated by the merry men who brought you the uniformly milquetoast “Blurred Lines,” “Get Lucky” and The 20/20 Experience. It’s also an example of how a good song—and by an extension, an overdiscussed artist—can steadily progress from “irrelevance” to “hey, turn this up.” And that’s an optimistic lesson to take into any new season.

Back in August, Sean Ross at Billboard laid out a few good reasons why “Summertime Sadness”—and Lana Del Rey—was finally finding success in the U.S. Although he failed to mention the most obvious one, which is that her black-widow croon is more palatable drizzled over clubby zoom-zoom and not just soaked up in a bunch of strings. Reanimated by a European DJ or not, it was a slow populist swell—like the one for “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons and “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line, to name two old singles eventually done good—that eventually put “Summertime Sadness” back into our ears.

As for that new synchronicity: Lana Del Rey’s divvying up the top 10 with Perry, Miley Cyrus (“We Can’t Stop”), Lady Gaga (“Applause”) and the teenage New Zealander Lorde (“Royals”). Miley is pop music’s rising star, Perry and Gaga its boundary-busting spirit leaders, and Del Rey and Lorde its (totally unalike) outsiders. (And look out for Ariana Grande on the album chart!)  Unlike the boys of summer (not to mention Imagine Dragons and Florida Georgia Line) this is a cast of characters bound to keep surprising us, whether or not it’s their turn at bat.

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