I was first introduced to Lana Del Rey (then mostly known as Lizzy Grant) well over a year ago by one of my faithful readers Serpent Lives. But being the lazy bitch that I am, it’s taken me until July 2011 to finally post about her.
Back in the day, the NYC-born Lizzy Grant was rocking an unpolished 60′s siren look and playing shows to support her genre-hopping independently-released debut album. Fast forward to 2011, and Lana Del Rey has had a bit of a makeover: Her 60′s look has now been refined with sky-high wigs, more makeup, and a new pair of lips that leaves her looking like a Valley of the Dolls cast member, or the “gangster Nancy Sinatra” as she’s been billing herself as lately.
Since May, Lana’s been racking up endless online buzz thanks to her single “Video Games”. It’s a sad and lilting retro torch ballad, which provides the perfect avenue for Lana’s pained, jazzy vocal to shine, and the music video is a nice way for her to show off her expensive (and fabulous) new face.
Lana’s got a few other songs floating around, like the vintage Hip-Hop influenced “Diet Mtn Dew” and the peppy “Kinda Outta Luck”, which is just screaming for a placement in a popular television show. The majority of her songs are all somewhat rooted in the sounds of the 60s, but it’s hard to pigeonhole her into one particular genre. It’s hardly a shock that her music so far is so diverse given all the people she’s been in the studio with over the past year, some of whom include Eg White (Adele, Duffy), Chris Braide (Cheryl Cole, Paloma Faith), Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams, Katie Melua), and newcomers Robopop (Neon Hitch, Gym Class Heroes).
I’m not sure if Miss Del Rey has landed a major label record deal yet (I’m sure she probably has and is just waiting to announce it), but she’s under the same PR company in the UK as Adele and Bjork, so the wheels are certainly in motion.
Lana’s an interesting case. The talent is there, and she’s clearly a woman who knows what she wants — her aesthetic has obviously been carefully crafted, but the whole 1960′s shtick feels more authentic with her than it did with Duffy, who turned out to be nothing more than a passing flavor of the moment. I’ll just say that I’m cautiously optimistic for now.
Watch this space.