2. ‘How to disappear’ – This is another track that was released, in a way, well before the album came out, when Del Rey and Jack Antonoff performed a piano-and-vocals version live at an Apple event. That recording is a thing of beauty, but the studio version is just as transcendent, adding ramshackle instrumentation that reminds me of the work Jon Brion did with Fiona Apple back in the 90s.
5. ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ – This was the other single released a full year ago, and it has been a definite favorite of mine ever since. In fact, if I had heard this song for the first time as an album track it may well be at the top of this list. But I’ve known it for so long now that I’m giving the newer songs an edge for the accompanying sense of discovery.
8. ‘Venice Bitch’ – One of the first singles released, a full year ago, ‘Venice Bitch’ clocks in at nearly 10 minutes, with most of that running time devoted to a swirling, ethereal electric guitar part. When I wrote about this song back in February, I predicted that I would likely skip the back half during future listens. Interestingly, I never have… it has such a glorious vibe I can’t help but see it through every time. As Del Rey told her label when they balked at releasing such a long song as a single, “end of summer some people just wanna drive around for 10 minutes and get lost in electric guitar.”
11. ‘The Next Best American Record’ – Re-listening to this song in order to write something here, I’m thinking it might be my favorite on the album. That’s how good this record is — a song outside of my top ten is in the conversation for the top spot. This one was reworked from a demo slated for her previous album, but wound up here in a new form.
I’ve been anticipating this album for a year, since the first two singles were released last summer. Since then, Del Rey has trickled out several more tracks, building anticipation, before finally dropping the album a few weeks ago.
In 1972, singer-songwriter Albert Hammond released the song ‘The Air That I Breathe’ on his album It Never Rains in Southern California (the title track of which is his best-known hit). He wrote the song, which is embedded below as today’s SOTD, with Mike Hazelwood.
One of the great benefits of popular music’s streaming revolution is how it has shortened the time and distance between artist and audience.
Rather than jumping through all the hoops (and cost) that come with a physical release, musicians can simply upload a song to social media 20 minutes after completion.