Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast” Tells of All You’re Missing Out on in the East

LDR’s love of all things West Coastian has been apparent since her first album, laden with L.A. references and desert-scape promo shots. Del Rey continued to showcase her west coast love on the EP, Paradise, which featured the epic song and accompanying video, “Ride.” On her first single for the forthcoming Ultraviolence, Del Rey reveals a different tonal and musical direction.

Looking chola-fied
Looking chola-fied

Opening with a sultry, strung out sound that’s equal parts Bob Marley and Nirvana, Del Rey sings as though she is a cult leader seeking out new converts to the west coast lifestyle. She lures you in with: “Down on the west coast, they got a sayin’/If you’re not drinkin’ then you’re not playin’/But you’ve got the music, yeah, you’ve got the music in you.” And so, the second she cuts you down, she builds you up like a one-woman welcome wagon to the gold coast.

L.A. vibes
L.A. vibes

Although the tempo of the song is different than most of her past work, the motifs remain largely similar. For example, “Down on the west coast, they got their icons/Their silver starlets/Their queens of Saigons.” That last bit shows off Del Rey’s confidence in self-reference, using a term that also appeared on “National Anthem.”

Hollywood glamour

At times, she plays up the California stereotype with sentiments like “Down on the west coast, they love their movies,” but, all in all, Del Rey creates quite an inviting portrait of west coast life—and it’s not likely to be the last we hear her speak highly of this side of the U.S. as more tracks are released from Ultraviolence.