‘Mariners Apartment Complex’: The Cool & Confident Return of Our Man, Lana Del Rey
“You took my sadness out of context at the Mariners Apartment Complex. I ain’t no candle in the wind…”
A new Lana Del Rey era is upon us – and this time, she’s going trance.
Just kidding. But…also I lowkey wish.
Following the release of 2017’s Lust For Life, featuring the romantically reassuring “Love” and her life-affirming and lawsuit-winning “Get Free,” The Queen of Coney Island™ keeps her consistent #content rollout coming with yet another record due out in 2019.
“Mariners Apartment Complex” is the first taste of what’s to come, which will soon be followed by a second single called “Venice Bitch” on September 18. (Rumored lyrics: “You wanna hot neighborhood? Party in Cali? You better move to Venice, bitch.“) Both are produced by Jack Antonoff, of 1989, Melodrama and reputation fame. And, to keep it in the family, the videos for both songs were created alongside her sis, Chuck.
But onto the actual music! The new track debuted on Radio 1’s Future Sounds With Annie Mac as the “Hottest Record In The World” on Wednesday evening (September 12), complete with a call from the Ultraviolence goddess herself.
“Baby, baby, baby, I’m your man…”
One thing’s for sure: Lana’s not sad (currently), so don’t get it twisted. And she most certainly doesn’t need your help, either.
“This song is kind of about this time that I took a walk late at night with the guy I was seeing, and we stopped in front of his friend’s apartment complex and he put his hand on my shoulder and said ‘I think we’re together because we’re both similar. We’re both really messed up,'” she explained to Annie.
“And I thought that was the saddest thing I ever heard. I said ‘I’m not sad. I didn’t know that’s what you thought you were relating to me on that level.’ I said ‘I’m actually doing pretty good.’ He was upset. That was when I wrote the song, because I thought…I had do this so many times, when I had to sort of step into the role where I was showing the way and being the brighter light.”
Boom. Shade, LDR style. (There will be more to come, spoiler alert.) We’ve certainly come a long way from riding shotgun with her bad baby on her heavenly side. Now, she’s in the driver’s seat and wearing the pants – blue jeans, probably.
The song itself has something of a ’90s vibe, with that guitar strum and grunge-y textures, vaguely recalling “West Coast” as it comes to its whining conclusion. Of course, it’s got plenty of lush piano melodies and strings as we’ve come to expect from our beloved Venice bitch as well.
The second verse is a standout, especially when it comes to the lyricism: “They mistook my kindness for weakness / I fucked up, I know that, but Jesus / Can’t a girl just do the best she can?”
Tattoo it right across my chest.
The imagery of this line, also: “Catch a wave and take in the sweetness / Think about it, the darkness, the deepness / All the things that make me who I am.”
The metaphor of the sea as Lana’s soul! Oh, yes.
And the woke spirit of Lust For Life is alive and well, still: “Who I am is a big time believer that people can change, that you don’t have to leave her / When everyone’s talking, you could make a stand.”
While on the phone, Lana also discussed her debut days, and supplied some expert Lana Del Shade while discussing the pop scene around 2011 compared now: “When I came out around 2011, it was so not okay to be different, or to have a little sadness, or to be working through stuff at the time. At the time, everything was really polished. Now, there’s so many artists who are similar to me and nobody’s perfect. It’s really interesting. What’s cool for me is my music still has a little place in the culture. It’s really mixed out there.”
So, the big question: all this acoustic vibe-y stuff is cool and all, but is she preparing to drop a “Despacito” anytime soon and storm the charts around the world? Don’t count on it – but also, don’t count out a “Needed Me” or “Kiss It Better.” Yes, Lana has taste, and therefore, she stans Rihanna!
“I never really felt tempted to go too much bigger,” she explained.
“I’m always more inclined to go deeper, which is almost harder because sometimes things get more obscure. I have people I work with who want that song. They want the big song, and I’m like…okay, find someone to write it for me. [Laughs] I’m not opposed to singing someone else’s song. I hear songs that Rihanna sings, and I think ‘Wow, I don’t even know how you’d start writing that. They’re so beautiful.'”
And yes, the next album is coming – after a book of poetry, that is.
“I have an album,” she confessed.
“It’s a collection of songs that I sequenced and really love. I don’t think it’ll be out until the top of next year because I am working on a little book of poetry. I’m going to self-publish it and put it out beforehand. It’s kind of random. One of those things I just want out there. I might just drop these books off at Silver Lake and beg them to sell it. It’s been cool.”
She also described the album’s sound as “in the vein of a Laurel Canyon sound. It’s transformed a little bit. There are surf elements to some of the songs. It’s not really surf-y, but I don’t know. A lot of electric guitar. Maybe a little Red Hot Chili Peppers influence in there.”
“Otherside” Del Rey incoming? Who knows what to expect, honestly…
All we know for sure is that she’s our man, and the girl is simply doing the best she can.
“Mariners Apartment Complex” was released on September 12. (iTunes)
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Photo credit: @LanaDelRey