“West Coast” is the lead single off Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album, Ultraviolence, and premiered on BBC Radio 1 on April 14th. The song sees a distinct difference to any of Lana Del Rey’s tracks previously released on albums. The song switches out the orchestra for a more minimalist approach, approaching it as more of a rock ‘n’ roll song.
The verses bear a grunge rock feel to them, with Del Rey’s wispy vocals aided by the simple drum beat and guitar combo. Her voice gains power as it leads into the choruses, which drops the grunge feel dramatically with a noticeable tempo change, and amps up a more eerie, mellow harmony that switches the focus directly to Del Rey’s vocals. The song keeps this switching theme throughout the song, except for the second chorus in which an overbearing, whirring electronic noise sirens out over the track.
Much like everything else Lana Del Rey releases, “West Coast” is simply powerful. It makes wise use of the genre of desert rock, a genre started out in California (which is of course on the West Coast), which is used to underlay Del Rey’s emotive and impressive voice. Her lyrics as usual follow a theme of love and materialism and – whilst not overly complicated – express an effervescent and yearning desire for the man she calls ‘Boy Blue’.
Ryan James Barley