Shannen Marie Hansen
I will be writing about Lana Del Rey’s album for the next couple of weeks. Because it deserves the attention, as it will have so much of mine.I want to start in the middle. Just before the middle. Wild at Heart. I get the chills at the opening bars of the guitar. I start to hear things I recognize beyond the simple bar chords and gentle slides and finger picking.
Something about an Instapot (that a lyric website has wrongly translated as instadots). An Instapot, that piece of kitchen machinery that is perfectly modern and mundane. One that I cooked with all last summer. I can’t help but think this is simply something that sounded good with coffeepots and polkadots. Yet it isn’t. It carries more importance, it hides in plain sight.
Again, she hits on the strings of what it essentially traditional and I think she does this through honesty, unfiltered, yet entirely controlled and mediated. This quality is essential to her songwriting. Yes this means that I think an Instapot is part of the new American cooking tradition, I’ve thought it since I started using it. And she just throws in into a love song?
If they love me, they’ll love me, because I’m wild at heart.
It is a love song. The guitar sounds like its going to be an early Chan Marshal song, but it evolves into a higher echelon with the timbre of her vocals. She nods to American culture with title of the song and the repeated theme, wild at heart, as a tip to the 1990 movie by David Lynch staring Nick Cage and Laura Dern which shares the name. It is a colorful example of personal identity and freedom. Of hot love, hotter and freer than jail cells or bad habits.
What would you do if I wouldn’t sing for them no more? Like you heard I was out in the bars drinking jack and coke.
What drink is more essential to American bar drinks than a jack and coke?
In the last second, when listened to through headphones, you can hear a shuffle of papers, or a click of a recorder turning off, or something tangible and it leaves a human imprint, a second of realness and mystery ripples out in its tiny wake. That tiny wake spreads out and out and echos on and on through my heart, with great peace.
In my mind there is type of woman who would be free to express herself regardless of what era she was born into. Like Joan of Arc, like Queen Elizabeth I, like the women fighter pilots of WWII. Lana Del Rey is a woman who would have existed in her own way regardless of the era she was born into. This is the truth I feel of her. Perhaps our generation will, indeed, allow her to live and won’t pump her full of drugs, or shotgun shells, or alcohol, or leave her floating dead in a swimming pool. Leaving us to question for decades, who would do this?
The next article will be on the thunk thunk thunk rhythm of the title track, the theme of astrology, and the swell of it all.