If Lana Del Rey‘s latest single has one message it is this.
Not everything is as it seems at The Country Club.
A Snapshot of Past and Present America
‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ is the title track for Lana Del Rey’s highly-anticipated seventh album.
And it is every bit the single a longtime fan could expect.
Lana Del Rey delivers a moody ballad.
It arrives littered with the imagery of past and present America.
The atmospheric song is oozing with emotion.
Del Rey continues to inhabit her American fantasy, a world in which the glamour of the past collides with the recent fascinations of the pop culture’s present.
‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ explores a fascination with chemtrails, horoscopes and the mind-bending unreality of the COVID crisis.
Comfort in Troubling Times
Del Rey is not treading new ground here.
Neither is she experimenting with new sounds.
If anything, ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ is a welcome hug of familiarity amidst the horror of 2021.
That is not to say Lana has lost any of her signature boldness.
Del Rey’s latest material makes a controversial statement about the current state of the US.
“The madness of Trump,” she recently informed BBC1, “as bad as it was, it really needed to happen. We really needed a reflection of our world’s greatest problem, which is not climate change, but sociopathy and narcissism. Especially in America. It’s going to kill the world. It’s not capitalism, it’s narcissism.”
A Polarizing Artist for Polarizing Times
As statements like these suggest, Lana is a polarizing artist for polarized times.
‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ carries with it all the drama fans have come to expect from a Lana Del Rey release.
The 35-year-old has been subject to all manner of criticism in recent months.
Not least of all was widespread condemnation after attending a US book signing wearing what fans believed to be a mesh facemask.
(For the record Del Rey claim has clarified the mask to be perfectly COVID safe),
Others unsuccessfully attempted to peg her for a Donald Trump supporter.
Most recently her attempt at inclusivity on her new album cover has been criticised by conservative and liberal commentators.
Critics have labelled the image to be opportunistic.
Del Rey, of course, has defended her image.
“These are my best friends,” she responded in the public statement. “Yes there are people of colour on this record’s picture and that’s all I’ll say about that but thank you.”
“Before I even put the album cover-up,” she later shared with BBC 1, “I knew what people were going to say…So when they actually started saying things, I responded and I just said, ‘I got a lot of issues but inclusivity ain’t one of them.’ It just isn’t. You can’t just make it my problem.”
A longtime fan would note these kinds of controversies are to be expected.
Her 2012 ‘Blue Jeans’ single cover depicted Del Rey being choked by a man.
Her ‘Tropico’ short film was also duly criticised for appropriating Latin American culture.
These are but two of many examples.
It would seem Del Rey cannot stick her head above ground without attracting some level of criticism.
Chemtrails Over the Country Club is Self-Aware
This is something she is keenly aware of.
The return of Lana’s much-criticised facemask in the ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ film clip points to a cunning awareness of the problematic aspects of Lana Del Rey’s persona.
The music video was directed by Brooklyn based duo BRTHR.
Lana herself is a vision.
The visuals are stunning.
They reflect weirdness the single embraces.
Community Not Conspiracy
Notably, the video premiered on January 11 at 2:10 p.m. ET, or 11:10 a.m in Del Rey’s home city of LA.
No doubt a nod to the present popularity of, often destructive and baseless, conspiracy theories.
Fortunately for the conspiracy wearied among us, Del Rey places little focus on any misguided beliefs in the chemtrail phenomenon.
Instead, Del Rey delves deeply into the theme of community and coming together.
It also expresses Del Rey’s desire for the world to return to normality.
The theme will be reflected in her forthcoming album.
“[The new album] mentions wanting so much to be normal,” Del Rey shared with Interview Magazine, “and realizing that when you have an overactive, eccentric mind, a record like Chemtrails is just what you’re going to get.”
Lana Del Rey Embraces the Strange and Wild
With ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ Del Rey documents the surreal feeling of these unconventional times.
It chronicles Del Rey’s manic obsessions and racing thoughts.
“It’s beautiful,” Del Rey at one point sings, “LSD, normality settles down over me, I’m not bored or unhappy, I’m still so strange and wild.”
The music video features Del Rey living her pleasant American dream before being unexpectedly swept into a Wizard of Oz–like tornado.
Eventually, she turns into a sexy, diamond eyed werewolf surrounded by all of her friends.
An overactive, eccentric mind indeed.
For all her controversies, Lana Del Rey is once again right on track.
Read more GG reviews here.
Lana Del Rey 'Chemtrails Over the Country Club'7
Del Rey is, once again, on track
Documents troubled times
Jack Antonoff returns to produce