“Nine minutes of ear torture that overstays its welcome in the form of painful instrumentals” – Sam Pegg
Some may see ‘Venice Bitch‘ as a major skip, but from the moment I heard the beginning guitar strums, I knew it was a major slay. This was one of the first of many songs written with Jack Antanoff, and can be found on Lana Del Rey’s sixth studio album, Norman Fucking Rockwell. This album was one of Lana’s most critically acclaimed, and a popular one with fans thanks to the eponymous track that boasts the now viral tiktok sound, “You’re just a man / it’s just what you do” Sadly on Lana’s most recent tour, she hasn’t sung a single song from NFR, however, she did include snippets of ‘Venice Bitch’ on her new track ‘Taco Truck x VB’, so fans were pleased to see this epic number still had a place in her heart!
The track begins with my favourite LDR lyric ever: “Fresh out of fucks forever”, which sets the atmosphere for the soft guitar-lead, ballady first 2 minutes of the track. The poetic lyrics feature American imagery (as usual), and the longing feeling for a gentle, “Hallmark” romance. It may be the reference to Venice Beach, but this song always makes me think of a day at the beach when the wind rushes through my hair and I’m feeling nostalgic.
A trend with Lana’s lyricism that started with NFR is the reference to modern-day technology, with a “livestream” featured in this song. Lana has gone on to mention Iphones and crypto currency in recent songs, and I can’t help but interpret this as her move away from the old Hollywood aesthetic. Saying that though, the gnarly electric guitar solos makes me think this song would have worked wonderfully on Ultraviolence.
“Oh God I miss you on my lips / It’s me your little Venice bitch” then comes so smoothly out of Lana’s mouth and she signs us off with a “bang bang kiss kiss” which is rhythmic perfection. I love this song because these lyrics are so catchy and careless. Lana said earlier that she’s fresh out of fucks, and you can really feel that in this relaxing nine minute walk through Lana’s mind. It’s not necessarily a song that would play well on the radio for the masses, but it’s a song that, in the words of Lana, is for people who are saying goodbye to summer and want to “get lost in electric guitar.” You really can just relax and feel the weight fly off your shoulders to this song. It feels wistful and romantic.
An artist (clearly not Lana), may worry that the song length could receive negative reviews, but the odyssey was widely acclaimed by critics such as Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and NME. This experimental track was deemed a success and ended up in many critics’ favourite songs of 2012 lists. Now I’m no critic, but I must add that ‘Venice Bitch’ always features in my favourite songs of all time lists, and always rears its gorgeous head annually in my spotify wrapped. I can’t get enough! If I had nine minutes to live, I’m whacking this track on and saying goodbye to the world in a blissful haze. If I had eight minutes to live I’d still put this song on, if I had seven minutes etc…. Basically what I’m saying is I want to sign out with a “bang bang kiss kiss”