Lana Del Rey

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This may be the first time you’ve heard of Emile Haynie, but it won’t be the last.

The musician isn’t a stranger to the music industry by any stretch, though. Collaborating on popular songs for artists such as Kanye West, Eminem, Kid Cudi, Lana Del Rey and Bruno Mars, the producer has definitely been working hard behind the scenes.

The connections Haynie has made along the way play a large part in his debut album We Fall. Nate Ruess, Lana Del Rey and Lykke Li are just a few of the artists that join him on the project, which was released yesterday (Feb. 24).

I haven’t given the entire album a thorough listen yet, but I’m loving what I’ve heard so far.

Melancholy cuts like the album opener “Falling Apart” (“You’re falling apart, just another little lonely broken heart.”) is almost unlistenable due to the vulnerability.

The album is currently streaming on Spotify.

Lana Del Rey in "Ultraviolence" video

Lana Del Rey in “Ultraviolence” video

“He hurt me but it felt like true love.”

And the feminists around the world let out another collective sigh at Lana Del Rey as she appears to get married (or at least atempts to get married) in the teaser for the “Ultraviolence” video. And, if the visuals stay true to the song’s lyrics, the singer will be marrying a man who abuses her.

The title track from Del Rey’s latest album is an ironically and disturbingly sweet ode to domestic violence that finds the singer borrowing a line from the Crystals (“He hit me and it felt like a kiss”).

She died in the directors cut of her last video (“Shades of Cool“) and in the one before that she twirled amid flames (“West Coast“). We can only expect the worst plot-wise for “Ultraviolence.” Continue reading

HAIM performs at Glastonbury festival

HAIM performs at Glastonbury festival

If you, like me, were anywhere but England last week you missed out on days worth of good music. Singers such as Dolly Parton, Lana Del Rey and HAIM performed during Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts this year and BBC was kind enough to upload a few of the performance to YouTube for those of us that didn’t get to attend the festival in person.

Watch Ed Sheeran, Disclosure, Bleachers, James Blake, The Wailers and more perform their popular songs for the gigantic crowd below. Continue reading

Polydor | Interscope 2014

Polydor | Interscope 2014

While Lana Del Rey was defending her morbid statements via Twitter her moody album Ultraviolence was selling 182,000 copies in it’s first week. The album tops the Billboard 200 chart this week, marking the singer’s highest charting album and biggest first week numbers to date. The trance-inducing pop album no doubt benefited from The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach’s involvement on the project as co-producer. Lana Del Rey has always had the style, but this is definitely her best sound thus far.

In comparison, the singer’s debut album Born to Die debuted at no. 2 with 77,000 copies sold in 2012.

Meanwhile, Sam Smith landed at no. 2 on the chart with his debut album In the Lonely Hour. The simplistic release that mostly touches on unrequited love sold 166,000 copies during it’s first week out in the U.S, making it the largest first-week sales for a UK male artist in SoundScan’s history.

This news comes as Smith’s single “Stay With Me” is still sitting pretty in the top 10 on the Billboard 100 chart and all but one of his North American tour dates in the fall are sold out.

According to Reuters, Smith’s album also topped the U.K. chart when it was released a few weeks ago, selling 101,000 copies in it’s first week there and becoming the fast-selling debut album of the year so far.


Lana Del Rey in "Shades of Cool" video

Lana Del Rey in “Shades of Cool” video

Lana Del Rey’s cooing in her latest single “Shades of Cool” always makes me think of the forest scene in Sleeping Beauty (except in this version the handsome prince would probably be related to Maleficent. PLOT TWIST!). That’s why I was sort of hoping the video would feature some sort of Sleeping Beauty theme with Lana twirling and eating poisonous berries in the woods with her bad boy lover. It’s probably a good thing that they didn’t go with my treatment, though…

The new visuals once again shows Lana in the arms of an older man. There’s a juxtaposition of the twirling songstress with flowers, among other things, and long scenes of her lover driving, but the scenes where the two are together are the most interesting. A giddy Lana dances with her man and takes a swim in the pool as he sits nearby in the cinematic visuals. And, per Lana’s usual style, the video feels purposely dated.

Is it too much to ask that Lana Del Rey and Dan Auerbach, who co-produced all of Ultraviolence, create an entire movie to go with the new album? Sonically this project is so rich and the themes, while tragic, really do make for some interesting stories.

Ultraviolence is in stores now. Read out my track-by-track review of the album here. Continue reading

Polydor | Interscope 2014

Polydor | Interscope 2014

Lana Del Rey has never sung about unbridled joy and healthy relationships so it may come as no surprise that Ultraviolence isn’t the most upbeat record. Neither was Born To Die, but even that release featured nostalgic glimpses of youthful happiness. Visually, at least, Lana has always had a fascination with tragedy, portraying death and heartbreak in many cinematic ways throughout the years. This album, moreso than Lana’s previous releases, is the best sonic depiction of the themes that the singer has toyed with thus far.
Continue reading

Polydor | Interscope

Polydor | Interscope

Another day, another track from Lana Del Rey. Like the other Ultraviolence releases, this one also features the singer’s whimsical vocals, and sweeping strings. Things aren’t as bad as they are on the forthcoming album’s title track where the singer touches on domestic violence, but they’re just as moody.

Lana Del Rey may not sing about healthy relationships, but that’s apart of her appeal. She’s not too polished to admit that sometimes she’s desperate and vulnerable and a total hot mess.

Ultraviolence will be released on June 17. Until then, just imagine riding around town (preferably, somewhere on the West Coat) in your man’s Chevy Malibu while listening to this new gem. Continue reading

Polydor | Interscope 2014

Polydor | Interscope 2014

“He hit me and it felt like a kiss.” – The Crystals

Lana Del Rey’s songs are always tragic and vivid, but the lyrics to “Ultraviolence,” the title track for her forthcoming album, definitely displays one of the singer’s more darker moments thus far. The song immediately reminds me of Florence + The Machine’s “Kiss with a Fist” lyrically, but production wise it’s a slow piano-driven release with layered strings and background vocals.

It’s the saddest song we’ve heard from Ulatraviolence thus far.

The album is scheduled to hit stores on June 17 and will feature the previously released “West Coast” and “Shades of Cool.” Continue reading

Polydor | Interscope 2014

Polydor | Interscope 2014

Lana Del Rey sings the Sleeping Beauty classic “Once Upon A Dream” for the forthcoming film Maleficent and she could’ve easily gotten her vocal inspiration from the Disney Princess for her latest single “Shades of Cool.”

Del Rey sings of a bad boy lover with a soaring falsetto and a whimsical vibrato during the hook over a slowburner production that is rooted in The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach’s signature style, even down to the guitar solo.

“Shades of Cool,” like “West Coast” is another marriage of Del Rey’s pop hooks and Auerbach’s rock sound, with a string section, of course.

Ultraviolence will be released on June 16. Continue reading

Polydor | Interscope 2014

Polydor | Interscope 2014

Fans have been waiting all year for Lana Del Rey to reveal the release date of her forthcoming album. Today she took to Twitter to do just that.

Ultraviolence will be released on June 16.

The singer revealed the album artwork and tracklisting for the forthcoming album last week. The album features lead single “West Coast” and was produced by Dan Auerbach.

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