All-american singer, Lana Del Rey, is famous for her melancholy sound and poetic lyrics, and unsurprisingly, she has always been like this. Lana has 9 studio albums under her belt, including numerous singles under her previous artist names; May Jailor, Lizzy Grant, and Sparkle Jump Rope Queen. I think we can all agree that none of those monikers hold the gravitas that LDR does, but her numerous re-inventions means we have bucket loads of unreleased material that can be found online, and they tend to be the ones fan say they would sell their souls to hear for the first time again.
The first time Lana Del Rey entered my consciousness was in 2011 when I saw the music video for her second breakthrough hit, Born To Die. I was watching the top 40 round my grandparents house, and I distinctly remember my grandad seeing Queen Lana and saying “She’s a bit mournful isn’t she?”. I watched her transfixed as she sat on her rightful throne amongst two tigers in a church and I replied “yes, that’s why I love her.”
That is where the love affair with her began. I loved how cool she was. I loved how sad she was. Her aesthetic was just so enchanting and magical. I was also going through my America phase, as lots of 10 year olds do, so I supposed that helped. She was just complete Hollywood horror, and I loved it! A desire to learn everything about her led me to Lizzy Grant’s discography and demos, and although the songs weren’t as grand as her studio releases, they were still great! Her early unreleased songs carry a messiness and home made quality which reminds us of the humanity of Lana’s music, something I must say was lost during the manufacturing of a star in the Born To Die era.
‘Mermaid Motel’ is the first unreleased song I found and loved. Hardcore LDR fans may say this song is released, appearing on the album Lana Del Ray, but the alternative version is still unreleased, so basically, don’t come at me!!!! Lana described this song as ‘smashing’, and I think that’s because it’s so on brand with her image; It’s very sexy, references Coney Island, and is super playful! Lana also said she wrote this song at a time when she was ‘happy’, and you can very much tell. It’s a fun little song, but admittedly, it probably wouldn’t be favourable to the masses.
There are a lot of well loved unreleased songs that have appeared on tiktok however. Arguably, the best thing about tiktok is its ability to showcase amazing hidden songs which have then gone on to chart. Unfortunately this can’t happen with Lana’s songs, being unreleased and everything *eye roll*, but they have hit the social media big time! ‘Meet Me In The Pale Moonlight’ has gone viral for its melodic and catchy middle eight. The lyrics ‘I’m the sweetest girl in town so why are you so mean? / When you gonna ditch that stupid… you got/ it’s me you should be seeing’ gives way for a vanity check where users lip sync cutely to the song or make edits of celebrities and how cute they are! Another tiktok famous song from Lana is ‘Yes to Heaven’, specifically the “I’ve got my eye on you” lyrics, of which people edit celebrities whom they are watching carefully for one reason or another. In my opinion, these songs have gone viral because the sound is very clean and very Lana i.e deep vocals and clearly well produced. Her earlier stuff often includes higher pitched vocals and a faster pace, both of which we don’t necessarily associate with the singer, which is perhaps why we’re not seeing ‘Brite Lights’ or ‘Prom Song (Gone Wrong)’ on social media.
Clearly Lana has some unreleased songs that would most probably chart (and some that would just be for the fans), so why don’t we have an unreleased album? This is something fans have asked for again and again, but after Lana’s 13 years of fame, it’s not looking good. Just after the release of Lust for Life in 2017, Lana teased us, saying she was considering releasing 25 songs from the vault, but that never happened. Then, in an odd turn of events, she revealed in an Instagram post that her will prohibits any posthumous releases because “those were just demos and never intended to be heard by the public”. It’s hard to read Lana, because at one moment she seems proud of her unreleased music, and then at other times, she very much distances herself from her Lizzy Grant days.
But don’t despair Lana fans! Although I don’t think we’ll ever get a jumbo unreleased album, I do think we will get the odd recorded unreleased song here and there. This happened with ‘Cherry Blossom’ which started circulating online in 2013, and was then released in 2021 on Blue Banisters. Additionally, the demo for ‘Let Me Love You Like A Woman‘ from Chemtrails Over The Country Club was originally called ‘Pink Champagne’ and was recorded seven years earlier (‘Pink Champagne’ is arguably a much better song, however, so we missed out there sadly) It seems Lana hasn’t forgotten about her demos, so hopefully we’ll be seeing some more on her future records! Lana, if you’re reading, I’d like you to release ‘Fine China’, ‘Hollywood’s Dead’, and ‘Never Let Me Go’. Thanks gal x
You can listen to ‘Pink Champagne’ here, via Polydor/Interscope: