Lana Del Rey's "West Coast" Paints a Different Side to Those "California Gurls"
We'd hoped for Lana Del Rey's new single to do something new and inventive for the singer and in a lot of ways we got what we wanted. "West Coast" sounded like a surf rock song would sound if it was written by Lana Del Rey. Del Rey premiered the song at Coachella over the weekend and then the single in full debuted on BBC Radio 1 radio this morning. "West Coast" features Del Rey's slow and sultry vocals over a melody that's part pop, part surf rock, and part reggae at points, such as in the dynamic drum roll into the otherwise lilting song.
"Down in on the West Coast, they got a saying," Del Rey's voice reverberates as she sings the lyric she plastered on a billboard to promote the song. "If you're not drinking then you're not playing."
"West Coast" quite honestly sounds like it's three different songs at the same time. Each verse is minimalistic, which just makes Del Rey's voice stick with you longer, and then it slows down for the bridge, as much as any Lana Del Rey song can get slower, before finishing with a chorus that's more or less pop fare. The song perfectly captures the spirit of getting drunk at a late night beach party and making some bad decisions.
It's a very far cry from Katy Perry's California-themed anthem about how "nothing comes close to the golden coast". Del Rey's coast is a lot less golden and a lot more dangerous, inviting, practically stuffed with hidden promises. She has a way of singing a song that's like a finger beckoning you forward into an adventure you might regret but will always remember and that's the spirit she brought to "West Coast". It's new enough to almost be considered a new sound, but similar enough to the rest of her work that you can tell immediately who you're listening to. If the rest of her album is anything like this, we're in for a treat.
Listen to the song below.