Lana Del Rey – “A&W”
Next month, Lana Del Rey will follow her 2021 albums Chemtrails Over The Country Club and Blue Banisters with the new LP Did You Know There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. She’s shared that album’s title track, as well as its NSFW alternate album art, and she’s also put up the only billboard for the album in Tulsa, the city where her cop ex-boyfriend happens to live. Today, she’s unveiled another early track from the album.
The new song “A&W” is nearly seven minutes long, and it rides a pulsing keyboard through a bunch of different changes. Early on, “A&W” sounds like a comfort-zone Lana Del Rey song, a woozy and sad piano-ballad with murmured lyrics about being seen as an “American whore.” As the song progresses, though, they keyboard drone takes over, and Del Rey does something that I guess you’d have to call rapping. It’s a wild, ambitious, unpredictable track, and you can hear it below.
Lana Del Rey is on the cover of the new issue of Interview. In the story, she talks to Billie Eilish, who gushes about Del Rey’s influence on her, which totally makes sense. Del Rey, meanwhile, says that she learned to sing from Cat Power, which also makes sense. Del Rey talks about recording her new album, which has apparently been done for a year and which has a song about her collaborator Jack Antonoff’s girlfriend, the actress Margaret Qualley. Del Rey also says that the new album once had an even longer alternate title:
At first, the title was definitely going to be Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, and then I fucking panicked and I went to [designer] Neil [Krug]’s house and said, “I know this is fucked up, but I’ve changed the title. It’s going to now be called, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd Pearl Watch Me on Ring a Bell Psycho Lifeguard.”
He was like, “What the fuck?” I was like, “I’m not telling anyone. Just mock it up.” He mocked it up, but we realized that maybe it was a bit much to have six titles in one. Then, he was like, “This is reminding me of a format that I’ve always wanted to play with. What if we just used one title, but then we filled the rest of the page with everyone who’s featured and everyone who engineered it?” He mocked that up on the portrait shot and I was like, “You did it.” That was a really psychotic day because I was like, “Am I willing to literally burn everything down to the ground by having some strange, nonsensical title?”
Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd is out 3/24 on Interscope. Read Lana Del Rey’s conversation with Billie Eilish here.