How To Write A Lana Del Rey Song, From The Generalized Sadness To The Mentions Of Famous Icons
In a world so hung up on branding, it's easy to fall into a pattern of self-parody... but don't tell Lana Del Rey that. There is a sick comfort in the predictability of any and all of Del Rey's songs, like you're riding a cascade of melancholy, and, at the crash of that wave, there should be a rich old guy to take care of you. It's a glorious feeling while it lasts. But how do you make that feeling last?
Well, why don't you just write your own Del Rey-approved song? As mentioned already, it's insanely easy, so long as you incorporate a few trademarks concepts. And, because I'm so sweet, I'll even help you out by identifying those trademarks, or my name isn't Mary Grace Garis Lana Del Rey Music Video Garis.
Realize that, at the end of the day, I embrace artists that have a consistent "thing" that's instantaneously recognizable. My scrutiny doesn't come from vitriol; it comes from having "Blue Jeans" played incessantly on my iPod.
Still, cliches are cliches are cliches, and presented to you are all the cliches you need to write your own Lana Del Rey song.
1. Mention the red dress... you know the one.
It's either on tonight, or it's off tonight, or it should be coming in the mail in four to six business days after ordering it from the Forever 21 website.
2. Name drop famous icons.
This doesn't have to be elaborate. In fact, the more awkwardly it's shoved in there the better. "Elvis is the best, hell yes?" What? You can also associate yourself with these celebrities and famous folk, as if to solidify your grandness. Examples: Ghandi is my uncle, Lincoln's my step-cousin, Einstein and I went out on a few dates and one time we made out in the Chili's parking lot, but he never called again.
3. Shout out to your sugar daddy.
It's always important to give props to the wizened man that you're in love with. And really make sure to use the word "daddy."
4. Also don't forget to remind people that you're a baby.
Really embrace that Lolita complex.
5. Reference other famous pieces of work so people know you're classy and well-read.
You could do this as a subtle allusion OR you can just flat out repurpose lines out of laziness. Here's something I think would work: "Would you eat them in a box? Would you eat them with a fox?" Add in a slow-tempo back beat, some violins, and soft crying, and I think we've got a number one hit single.
6. Remind everyone that your love is doomed.
You'll stick to the one you love even if you both crash and burn in a blaze of glory... unless you have a back-up daddy waiting in the wings.
7. Generalized sadness.
This is implied, but essential. You really want to write songs that'll have people weeping.
8. Romanticize things that are decidedly terrible.
"Dying young" is a good place to start, but this is including and not limited to: affairs with married men, teen alcoholism, the DMV, etc.
9. Awkwardly rap.
No pressure, but if you have time.
10. Insert a semi-vague description of what your rebellious James Dean boyfriend and/or sugar daddy is doing to you.
What WILL he do with that red dress?
11. Insert references to exotic locations, to reinforce how utterly glamorous you are.
I feel like Newark is a good pick.
Images: Giphy (12)