Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Vic Chesnutt’s ‘Grim Augury’ opens with the tolling of a southern bell. It welcomes in a world where a baby is being cut out with an antler-handled carving knife, where catfish are wriggling in blood and gore in the kitchen sink. It’s humid. If you can sleep, then the dreams are bad. But the family living there thinks it’s normal. Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’ also opens with the tolling of a bell. Sounds southern. At this point, Lana could be the youngest daughter of the Chesnutt family. Scarlett. She has a way with words. She’s got a tar-black soul, but she knows a man who’s as sweet as blood-red jam. She’s got a friend who eats soft ice cream, but whose liquor’s top shelf. There’s a glasshouse and I bet it’s unbearably hot in the summer. But Lana Del Rey’s world suddenly changes. She heads to New York. She finds the northerners beaux and she learns a new way of talking. Cooler, but utterly vacuous. You can still hear a certain southern sound, but behind it the bass is bigger, the beat is blander, the hook is familiar. Too familiar. The folks back home miss her. But in ‘This Is What Makes Us Girls’ she says that she’s never going back. That’s a shame. When she was there she really made a mark.