Lana's sixth is due "at the top end of 2019"
What with getting embroiled in a row over playing in Isreal and holding a magic hand-binding ceremony to try to oust Trump, you’d think Lana Del Rey had become more pawn in international political disputes than singer these days. But never fear Reyettes, Lana’s sixth album is incoming, and here’s what we know so far.
- New track ‘hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it’ released
- Lana confirms that the record is finished and teases two new tracks
- New song ‘How To Disappear’ released
- A collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly could appear on the album
- Album title confirmed
- ‘Venice Bitch’ released
When is the album due?
According to a press release sent out on January 9, “mid-2019”. That news follows previous and similarly vague reports of “the top of 2019” – at least we’re beginning to narrow it down. Before we get the album, Lana has suggested she’ll be releasing a book of her own poetry. “I think I’m just going to self-publish it and put it out beforehand,” she told Annie Mac last year. “It’s kind of random. Which is kind of another one of those things I just want out there just for me. I literally might just drop these little books off at some bookstores in Silverlake and beg them to sell them.
“It’s been really cool for me ‘cause I was having a little bit of writers’ block with the music last Fall and so I just sat down to write some words without music and I realised there was just a couple of things I wanted to say through some poems, which is funny. I feel like I’m in the 19th Century.”
At the end of 2018, Del Rey also confirmed that the new record had been completed. In an Instagram live video, she said that it was “completely finished”, while teasing the next song to be released.
What’s the album called?
The excellent ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’. She told Zane Lowe: “Working with Jack [Antonoff], I was in a little bit of a lighter mood because he was so funny. So the title track is called ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ and it’s kind of 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.
“So often I ended up with these creative types or whatever, and you know, they just go on and on about themselves, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ But there’s a little bit of merit to it also. They are so good. I just like the title track so much that I was like, ‘OK, I definitely want the record to also be called that.'”
Is there artwork?
Nothing as yet. According to fans on Reddit, Lana said in an Instagram Live broadcast that she might want to reshoot the cover because she “had an idea she had been too lazy to shoot.”
Who is producing the album?
St Vincent, Taylor Swift, and Lorde hitmaker Jack Antonoff. The collaboration came to light back in August, when Lana Tweeted a picture of her self and Antonoff wearing matching outfits, and Antonoff has since been confirmed as producer for Lana’s new project. “We’ve been working since December. [Jack] comes out to LA for about nine days a month,” she told Mac, “We have a collection of songs that I’ve sequenced and I really love.”
What does it sound like?
“It was in the vein of a Laurel Canyon sound,” she told R1, “and it’s kind of transformed a little bit because there’s some surf elements to some of the songs – it’s not really surfy like Dick Dale but a lot of electric guitar, a little Red Hot Chili Peppers influence in there.” Not sartorially, we assume…
Can we hear any music?
Yup – ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ is the album’s first public cut, a classically Del Rey smoulder of silken acoustic country music and orchestral washes. “This song is kinda about this time I took a walk late at night with the guy I was seeing and we stopped in front of his friend’s apartment complex,” Lana told Annie Mac, “and he put his hands on my shoulder and he said ‘I think we’re together because we’re both really similar, we’re both really messed up’.
“I thought that was the saddest thing I ever heard. I said ‘I’m not sad, I didn’t know that you thought you were relating to me on that level… I’m actually doing pretty good’. He was upset and that was when I wrote the song. I’ve had to step into that role where I was showing the way and being the brighter light… I thought I’d put it out and it would be one of those things that I felt good just to have out there for myself, but it’s cool to be able to share it with people too. I didn’t expect to do that.”
Watch the video below.
A second track, ‘Venice Bitch’, followed a week later. Del Rey told Zane Lowe it also features a reference to the titular Norman Rockwell, which “didn’t have to be there”. “I don’t even remember if I threw it in there intentionally just to pop that message in a little further,” she said. “I can’t even remember what I was thinking, but I think when I was writing this song, it was a more happy take on love and it was just sort of about like, ‘I tour, you write. We make it work.’
“And also, you know, I love having painter references because I think sometimes when you’re writing you’re sort of trying to paint these ideas into existence because I’m very visual too. So yeah, I don’t know. I know it’s a crazy title, but that’s just the title of the record.”
Since then, Del Rey has teased two more new songs. One is a collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly, which the star posted a clip of on her Instagram page. Look, this is gonna end bad for you,” Kelly could be heard rapping on the since-deleted snippet. “I’m gonna go mad for you. I know you wanna be bad for me but I don’t wanna move too fast for you.” It is currently unclear whether the track will feature on ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’.
Days later, she teased a track thought to be called ‘Sylvia Plath’, named after the poet and author of The Bell Jar. In a recording that has also been deleted from her Instagram, the singer could be seen lip-syncing along to a recording of the song. It seems to have undergone some changes since then – on January 9, Del Rey shared new track ‘hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it’, which featured some of the same lyrics and referenced Plath in the chorus: “I’ve been tearing around in my fucking nightgown/24/7 Sylvia Plath.“
During a surprise performance at Apple’s annual event in Brooklyn last October, the star debuted another new song live. ‘How To Disappear’ saw her accompanied by the record’s producer Jack Antonoff on piano. The official audio was released days later.
On New Year’s Day, Del Rey also shared a snippet of another song during an Instagram Live broadcast. The singer was seen sitting in a car singing along as a string-laden track played, with the lyrics “In your car, I’m a star/And I’m burning through you” audible.
What are Lana Del Rey’s tour plans?
We only know of one show in the UK so far – at Dublin’s Malahide Castle on June 22. Eagle-eyed fans might notice that’s the week before Glastonbury, so perhaps we’ll see Lana down at the farm too?
Here are all the places you can catch her so far in 2019:
22 – New Orleans, BUKU Music Art + Project
22 – Dublin, Malahide Castle
27-29, Odense, Denmark, Tinderbox Festival
28-29 – Stockholm, Sweden, Lollapalooza
18-21 – Benicassim, Spain, Benicassim Festival