HARRY FRASER | REPEAT OFFENDERS
I am relatively new to the LDR train, but her 2019 album Norman Fucking Rockwell became my official soundtrack for 2020. Her sultry and smoky vocals paired nicely for a year that was filled with intense introspection fuelled by isolation. One of my close friends has adored Lana for some time and does her best to ensure that I’m acquainted with her most infamous and often controversial works since her career took off over the last decade.
As such, I am aware that her aesthetic and her style is eccentric and by nature, narrows the scope of appeal. That being said, there is no denying the power and intense attraction to Del Rey’s work. Now firmly on the bandwagon, I eagerly awaited new music from an artist that became increasingly intertwined with the complexities of desire, longing, and sadness. I didn’t have to wait long. Lana released the title track of her upcoming album Chemtrails Over the Country Club and wow I was already obsessed with the name alone.
Accompanied by a mesmerising music video, this hauntingly intriguing track links seemingly disparate images into a cohesive narrative. It describes an escape from the troubles of the world – of which I think we can agree, there are many – in an effort to spend time with loved ones. Chemtrails, if you are unfamiliar, is short for chemical trails and describes the conspiracy theory that the exhaust fumes of aeroplanes and other airborne devices leave chemicals in the air to achieve devious and nefarious ends.
Throughout the track, chemtrails are present above idyllic scenes at lush country clubs with sisters, friends, and lovers all splashing around in an azure pool. Del Rey’s lyrics offer rich and generous imagery shrouded in hypnotic melodies, gently enticing you in.
As I have hinted at previously, Chemtrails Over the Country Club’s lyrics on their own or simply out of context are innocuous and devoid of narrative effect. “Washing my hair, doing the laundry” or “go to the market; the kids’ swimming pool” are absurd in this form, detached from their fellow lyrics. But put together, and from the lips of Del Rey, these words take on an ethereal quality that feeds a visceral experience.
The music video is next level and an homage to classic Lana, an otherworldly depiction of fast cars, big houses and just straight up opulence. It is worth a watch even just to appreciate the interesting aesthetic with plenty of drama in just 5 minutes. If the single is anything to go by, this album is going to be one you won’t want to miss.