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Ones to Watch in 2012: Lana Del Rey

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ones to Watch in 2012: Lana Del Rey

While the rest of the blogging world might have been drooling over Lana Del Rey months ago, I'm only just now falling in love. What can I say? There's no excuse.  October 16th was the release date for Del Rey's debut double A-Side single, "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans," so I fell in love with her at a good time.  While I'm not above listening to songs via YouTube my BlackBerry doesn't do video so well and this is music that I need to have by my person on the daily. It's THAT GOOD!

Lana Del Rey once called herself a "gangsta Nancy Sinatra" which, although meant as a joke, spread through the blogosphere like wild fire.  As embarrassed as she may be by that remark, I think it's kind of a perfect description, minus the gangsta maybe.  The music is most certainly not "GANGSTA" stylistically the lyrics are hard hitting and emotive.  Upon listening to and watching the video for "Video Games," I independently thought of the Sinatra comparison, so I think she might be on to something there. Embrace it girl!

Del Rey not only embodies the sound of a different era, but her pouty, sultry and ever so demure look is reminiscent of models and actresses from the 1960s - Diana Rigg from The Avengers, comes to mind. The homemade, dusty and crackly D.I.Y. videos for "Blue Jeans" (BELOW) and "Video Games" (BOTTOM) also help to perpetuate the vintage look and feel Del Rey seems to be so enamored with.  And then there's Lana Del Rey's voice. "Hollywood pop" and "Sad core," are two made up genres that Lana herself uses to classify her style, drawing her inspiration from her love of "David Lynch, Black and White 50s movies, Coney Island, Hip-Hop and heartbreak."  Ultimately, it boils down to love.  "There's something beautiful about the fight. About any fight.  I'm talking about epic, knocked-down, dragged-out love stories in song. That's what I'm heading towards."

Growing up in Lake Placid, New York, Del Rey found inspiration amongst the lush greenery of the National Park and the decaying tourist town that surrounded her. "'It has an epic, nostalgic feel. It's in the middle of a National Park. But it's also a struggle because it's a town built on tourism that no-one goes to anymore."  At the age of 18 she packed up and moved to New York City. According to Lana, "'Since I was little I knew I would end up there, every day is a pleasure there. Every single day I walk out of the door is a good day. I like everything about it. New York totally rewards me for my love of it."  Although she was born Lizzie Grant, evidently she needed a name with more POP and PIZAZZ and that name was Lana Del Rey, taking her first name from actress Lana Turner and her last name from an old Ford Del Rey car.  While it sounds like from interviews (HERE & HERE) that this retro glam thing was suggested by her "team" and not entirely her idea, I think it's working for her.

Download Lana Del Rey's debut "Video Games" / "Blue Jeans" EP on U.S. iTunes HERE.  In addition to the two singles, you also get two "Video Games" remixes - one chilled and one a bit more up-tempo.  The single is also available as a limited edition 7" vinyl picture disc via Stranger Records.  The EP reached the top 5 on iTunes Albums Chart hours after it's release and "Video Games" has peaked at #3 and #36 in the Netherlands and Ireland respectively.  Check out tour dates for her forthcoming European and North American tour, the "Video Games" video as well as some live performance videos and remixes INCLUDING a hot new remix of "Blue Jeans" by Penguin Prison!

Tour Dates:
November 4 - Manchester, UK - Ruby Lounge
November 5 - Glasgow, UK - Oran Moir
November 7 - Paris, France - Nouveau Casino
November 10 - Amsterdam, Holland - Upstairs at Paradiso
November 12 - Cologne, Germany - Gebauede 9
November 14 - Berlin, Germany - Roter Salon
November 16 - London, UK - Scala
November 17 - Birmingham, UK - HMV Institute
November 30 - Toronto, Ontario - Mod Club Theater
December 5 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
December 7 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour

Live Performances:
Blue Jeans (Live at The Premises)
Video Games (Live on Later...with Jools Holland)

Blue Jeans (Penguin Prison Remix)
Video Games (Mr. Fingers Remix)
Video Games (Omid 16B Remix)

Check out Lana Del Rey on the web:

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