Last year, I didn’t know who she was. I’d heard of her name, leaving one hipster mouth to another, but had never bothered to look her up. I categorized her into the likes of Regina Spektor and Birdy- a familiar name but with no note to tune.
Honestly, I think the reason I started listening to her was her two bigger singles, Young and Beautiful (written for the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s movie The Great Gatsby) and Summertime Sadness. It’s haunting and more than just melancholy. The tone goes with the theme of the movie- 1920′s class. The American Dream obviously plays a large part in the movie and the motif of the song. Del Rey herself exhibits random characteristics that would only work together- glamour, serenity and, in a way, depressed. She acts maturely in public, showing less emotion than most singers now. Her twitter is just as impersonal.
Rereading the last paragraph, I realize it sounds like I hate her. Quite the contrary actually- I love her music and who she is- a charismatic “Lolita lost in the hood”. I am not my sister- I don’t do singles. I like to know about the background before I listen to the music. I know more about Taylor Swift and the Summer Set than anything on the exams I take in a week. I don’t judge off of that, but the stalker inside me likes to know. Reading about her past online doesn’t surprise me- I can’t see an outcome like del Rey herself coming from anything else. And what is this past of hers? Alcohol dependency in her teenage years, philosophy by 18, and the classic New York life. To me, she radiates New York. She’s independent, even with her trying background.
Obviously I can’t become a music critic because of the favoritism I show, but I look up to Lana del Rey so much. Some idiots I’ve met will ask me “You want to become an alcoholic and become a horrible singer?” At those moments I wish I was coordinated enough to give people the middle finger. It’s sad how my generation is so tied in with the media. We care more about our idols than the bigger problems in life. Honestly, that is me. I’m caught up in all the media, and it just tires me. It makes me frustrated that I’d like to be chill and uncaring about who I am yet be the most generous person I can be. It’s a constant fight- I feel like the only child of a bickering couple.
But I feel connected to Lana del Rey. At the most random times, when I need it the most, her music soothes the soul. Bits and pieces float throughout my thoughts, making me feel less alone. Just today, I found myself repeating lyrics from Dark Paradise over and over.
Your soul is haunting me and telling me that everything is fine but I wish I was dead”
When people talk to me about her, the only way I can describe it is the emoji with two hearts as eyes. She is a role model to me- not just because of her darker background and her melancholy music, but because of the way she deals with things.
Now that I think about it, my sister doesn’t do singles either. She’s too indie for that.
*Fun fact I learned the word melancholy from a book I reread all the time as a kid- Because of Winn Dixie.