“I moved to California, but it’s just a state of mind,” Lana Del Rey sings in her new single, and if anybody would know, it’s her.
Titled with an unprintable phrase — mind the explicit language in the video, which you can watch here — the characteristically dreamy new tune finds Del Rey further exploring the West Coast psychic space that has obsessed her for years; nobody in pop makes more effective use than she does of a century’s worth of accumulated Hollywood iconography.
Indeed, the song about moving to the Golden State is just one of two tracks featured in the clip Del Rey posted online Thursday, just over a week ahead of the Aug. 30 release of her latest album, whose title also can’t be printed here. (It puts a juicy modifier between the first and last names of the painter Norman Rockwell.)
In the second tune, called “The Greatest,” she sings about missing Long Beach and about a bar where the Beach Boys would go — “Dennis’ last stop before Kokomo,” as she memorably puts it. The video, directed by Rich Lee, is no less suffused with SoCal imagery, including scenes of the busy Port of Long Beach and of Del Rey surfing amid hulking offshore drilling rigs.
The singer’s new album, which she recorded primarily with producer Jack Antonoff (who also worked on Taylor Swift’s “Lover”), is the follow-up to her 2017 disc “Lust for Life.” In an interview published Thursday by Billboard, Del Rey described the album as “a folk record with a little surf twist.”