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The camera zooms in on Lana Del Rey as she turns away from the crowd, hiding all but the slightest silhouette of her face.
In the background, a massive screen flickers deep purple and blue; beside her on stage sits a potted palm. Gently, she wipes a tear with the middle finger of her left hand, then wipes her nose, which from this angle appears as the bottom-half of a perfectly slender S curve that begins on her forehead, shimmies down her face and ramps off into the void.
“That’s a big part of my life: I just feel really sick a lot of the time and can’t figure out why. I thought it was sad to be in Ireland singing for people who really cared when I wasn’t sure if I did.” I’d expected self-congratulation, the triumph of finally making it. There’s a monologue that opens her “Ride” video, which she tells me is autobiographical.
I’d gotten these shots in Russia, where we’d just been. It’s just heavy performing for people who really care about you, and you don’t really care that much about yourself sometimes. Part of it goes like this: “I was always an unusual girl. No moral compass pointing due north, no fixed personality.
Next came “Video Games,” which applied that same cut-up look to a slightly fuller sound, and thrust Grant, now singing as Lana Del Rey, from bedroom clips to blockbusters.
Strangest [song] ever written: Back at his office while I was making out with him.” When I ask her if she regrets joking like that, given how often people perceived her as a puppet of some executive team, she says, no, the story was true: “I had a seven-year relationship with the head of this label, and he was a huge inspiration to me. He never signed me, but he was like my muse, the love of my life.” Rather than shying away from the snake pit that is sex and power, she walks right in. So there you have it: a post-feminist, socialist reading of Lana Del Rey.
There’s a queer reading available, too, if you consider her identity-play synonymous with dressing in drag, as Christopher Glazek did in ’s release, those infinite opinions have long since canceled each other out, leaving room for listeners to take up a more subjective relationship with her music without the pressure of coming up with something clever.
I’m just kind of fucking around.” She’s already convinced everyone else of her worth, but here she seems to have finally convinced herself.
In that Lizzy Grant interview with Huffington Post, she spoke of her love of American icons: “All the good stuff is real but isn’t, myself included…
Compared to , the new album sounds far more like straight-up rock music, recorded in live takes with a Nashville band assembled by producer Dan Auerbach.