What Ever Happened to Lana Del Rey?

Besides the occupation of Oakland, Beyoncé’s music video demonstrating her capacity to steal cite other’s work, and controversial bake sales, there’s been another topic fueling heated debates for the last couple of weeks: Lana Del Rey the New-York based singer who generated millions of views with her debut videos the disenchanted and bluesy “Video Games” and retro-erotic “Blue Jeans”.

Despite being dubbed the "Indie Kreayshawn" (i.e. a once unknown artist capitalizing on excessive media coverage, tweets, and Facebook) by myself and other leading influential bloggers, Del Rey seems determined to overcome this ephemeral status of Queen of the Buzz. Her videos not only offer a beautiful transcendental voice that relates both to Nancy Sinatra and Paloma Faith, but also delivers a whole new aesthetic and message, a mix of cynicism and melancholia that the singer defines as the “Hollywood Sad Core."

The elusive Lana Del Rey, now crowned as music's next "Big Thing."

One factor that's fueling all this buzz about the mystery of Lana Del Rey's identity is the rumor that she's just pure creation, a sort of modern Frankenstein’s creature or Eliza Dollitle totally made up by managers, lawyers and music producers. One main raison for that rumor is her absence - so far - of any live performances available, her only concert scheduled in NYC having recently been postponed.

According to the few images that leaked and her videos, Del Rey is a flamboyant brunette, self-defined as a “gangsta Nancy Sinatra," but should rather be defined as a mix of Rita Hayworth in Gilda and Julia Roberts, and of course Angelina Jolie’s natural (wait really?) lips - lips that some people claim to be the only reason for Del Rey’s success. But Lanal Del Rey doesn’t really care about the fuss around her image and rather seem to enjoy it (Lana <3 haters!)

But what really makes Lana stand out is her ability to be the most accurate mirror of our generation. The Facebook/Tumblr generation that constantly distillates not only images and comments about others, but about ourselves shaping a new kind of digital narcissism. In her videos Lana puzzles us with her gaze almost close to strabismus; after a closer attention it is clear that the singer sings to herself. The small clips show her whispering with a duckface, looking straight to her iMac photobooth as do millions of adolescents on Youtube and Facebook. Maybe this is why Lana Del Rey managed to arise so quickly in an already quite overcrowded musical landscape, because she understands exactly what fascinates us right now, our own image reflected and commented in an endless and vast array of Medias.

The haunting “ Blue Jeans” video.

Thomas Meyer
BARE Reporter

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