Lana Del Rey fans have had a treat recently, with not only one new album this year but the promise of another, and now the surprise of three new singles. It made my day to see “Blue Banisters”, “Text Book”, and, “Wildflower Wildfire” appear on my YouTube feed. Obviously, I had to listen straight away.
On the 28th of April, Del Rey posted a picture to her Instagram with the Blue Banister artwork and promised us an album on the 4th of July. This had led me to infer that the album was going to be called Blue Banisters. This could therefore be the lead single from the upcoming album, or perhaps it is just the first single. Either way, I was excited to delve in.
It sounds very similar to Chemtrails Over The Country Club in style, but has a little bit more power behind the vocals. This was great for me to hear, as, much as I’ve loved the new era of Del Rey, I have missed the power and the projection of her earlier work, such as the tracks on Born To Die. Chemtrails Over The Country Club was a spectacular piece of art, but I felt that it lacked fire and passion in places and was very slow and steady. “Blue Banisters” is similar in style, but it gives more of a taste of the range that Del Rey is really capable of. I would recommend going and taking a listen!
The other two songs, “Text Book”, and, “Wildflower Wildfire” flow nicely on from it, although what order they’ll take on the album is yet to be seen.
I listened to “Text Book” next, and there was a lot of reminiscing and talk about the past. The title also reminds me of my school days, and the whole song feels very nostalgic—much like other work in Del Rey’s repertoire. This track is also a slow one, but again feels powerful. There is a lot of talk about men from the past, including her father, and she speaks about wanting to re-write her stories.
There is a lot of evidence in the lyrics that this was written very recently, including an explicit mention of the Black Lives Matter movement. This may end in backlash for her after recent political controversy, but the lyrics throughout tell a story that feels empathetic and true. She also writes about not liking herself and it feels a little as though she thinks she has something to prove.
Last but not least, “Wildflower Wildfire” is my favourite of these three new songs. It starts with simple but striking piano chords and lyrics that feel as though you’re being told a story. Del Rey gently tells us that she’s been “running on stardust” and the chorus that follows feels powerful, fills you with rich imagery, and projects the story of somebody who has great strength.
I love this song, and it feels very close to what I would call Lana Del Rey’s essence. It seems to represent everything that she is as an artist and a person, and would be a great song to listen to if you’ve fallen behind on her work. More so than the other two, this one feels new. It starts similarly slowly, which has become a staple recently, but it turns into something that feels serene but more substantial that her other new releases.
It follows her newer style, while also feeling distinctly separate. Especially near the end of the track, there is more instrumental noise and stronger rhythms.
All three of the new songs sit at around the five minute mark, which is great because I can never get enough of some of her shorter songs. If you haven’t been over them already, go and treat yourself.