After a week or so of patient waiting, Lana Del Rey has officially dropped her first new Ultraviolence single "West Coast" today (April 14). She shared the audio of the track on her Twitter, alongside a looped video of herself and a long, blonde haired man gallivanting and spinning on the beach.
At its core, "West Coast" retains everything that makes a song a signature Del Rey tune. Her hushed whispering voice floats around the music, particularly in the dreamily ethereal chorus, which boasts layers upon layers of tracking. It's almost as if there is a full-blown choir of Lana Del Reys.
There's something inherently sexual about the way she croons during this part of the song. She sings "I'm singing ooh baby, ooh baby, I'm in love," and it's so heavy yet slow that it feels like you're in a really intimate moment.
This carries throughout the whole song, and there's a reason why fans (and some critics) praise Del Rey for her throwback, nearly angelic vibes. She manages to sing in a way that is wholly unique on "West Coast." There's a near whine to her voice, but she's able to pull it back and make it breathless and smoky, creating a snarky, sexual aesthetic.
Musically, it's clear that Del Rey has been collaborating with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach on Ultraviolence. The very first beat, a roll of the drums that dives straight into some vintage guitar sounds, is so insanely similar to the sounds on The Black Keys' debut effort The Big Come Up that it made me do a double take to make sure I was listening to the right thing.
Their musical influences jive together really well. Auerbach brings some of the funking grooves of the '60s to counterbalance Del Rey's own old school influences to make for something that sounds like it's rooted in the olden days of female blues and pop but manages to brings itself into the modern era through the strong use of drum machines.
While "West Coast" sets a really strong precedent for Del Rey's new album, the mixing is just a little bit off in the production. While Del Rey's whole thing is somewhat rooted in the wall of noise, she can also get lost in the music sometimes, and it's hard to distinguish the lyrics of "West Coast" from anything else. But, Del Rey has never been known for ability to enunciate.
Count this one as a win for the California crowd.
Listen to Lana Del Rey's "West Coast" below:
"West Coast" is the lead single from Del Rey's upcoming sophomore effort Ultraviolence. The album has yet to receive an official release date, but it is due out sometime later this year.