Lana Del Rey’s "Love": A Deep Dive Into New Territory

Lana Del Rey’s "Love": A Deep Dive Into New Territory

A closer look at Lana's most intriguing single to date.

A closer look at Lana's most intriguing single to date.

Text: Jake Viswanath

Lana Del Rey surprised us over the weekend by releasing her new single “Love” (after it sadly leaked on the internet). The track sees her reunite with longtime collaborators Rick Nowels and Emile Haynie, as well as famed pop producer Benny Blanco, to create an uplifting ballad that’s more than reminiscent of the Born to Die era. The snaps, pows, and crackles of that cinematic Americana soundscape make a grand return, and her rich, powerful vocals atop the lush production are more welcome than ever.

But despite the familiar atmosphere, “Love” still signals a major transition within the repertoire of Lana Del Rey. Rather than invoking experiences of her past or conjuring dangerous fantasies of lust and despair, Lana draws inspiration from the one thing that’s been consistent throughout her career: us. “Love” plays out like a wistful and emotional letter to her fans, as she begins, “Look at you kids with your vintage music / Coming through satellites while cruising / You’re part of the past, but now, you’re the future / Signals crossing can get confusing.”

She knows that the youth of today are at crossroads in their lives, having big goals but not being entirely sure of how to achieve them. This fact is even more complicated by our current political climate, as questions are still lingering on what our future will be exactly. Yet it’s those dreams and a persistent feeling of love and wonder that keep us going in the face of adversity, which Lana admires in us today. She turns “young” and “in love,” two feelings that she often sings about in the literal sense, into mindsets that we adopt to keep living. This becomes more apparent when she switches her pronouns from “you” to “I” in the final chorus, showing that she too is going through the same shit.

Lana aims to comfort with her forthcoming album, stating in a press release, “I made my first four albums for me, but this one is for my fans and about where I hope we are all headed.” “Love” signals this intention, providing the romantic escape that’s become customary of Lana’s music while commenting on our collective place in the world. Perhaps the Born to Die-esque soundscape was intentional in this regard, as what’s more comforting than something so familiar?

However, “Love” is perhaps more rooted in reality than any song of hers thus far. While the song is not inherently political, it’s hard not to see it as a humanitarian effort in response to the turmoil that the election has caused. This predates back to the election debates, as Lana encouraged us to stay informed on Instagram but never endorsed a candidate. In that sense, her longing to look out for her fans has been apart of the creative process all along.

The second verse could even be seen as a very subtle implication of meaningful revolution, as she sings, “Look at you kids, you know, you’re the coolest / The world is yours and you can’t refuse it / Seen so much you could get the blues, but that don’t mean that you should abuse it.” She is still optimistic for our futures, despite the frightening uncertainty and madness shrouding them, and she’s determined to keep us going so we can make things right for ourselves and each other.

Perhaps nothing encapsulates her aim to reassure more than the closing refrains of “Don’t worry, baby…” as the song fades out, leaving us with nothing but hope in our hearts. And sometimes, those three simple words are all you need to get through, especially when they come from Lana’s soothing voice. “Love” signals an exciting era to come for Lana Del Rey, one in which she explores new territory while giving us the familiar comfort of the songs we fell in love with originally. Give us that therapy album we need.

Click through the slideshow below to see Lana's cover story from V97.

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