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Lana Del Rey Grapples with The Patriarchy in New Song, and It’s Making Us Even More Excited For Her Upcoming Album

by Emily Lauletta

On Valentine’s Day, Lana Del Rey gifted us her newest single, “A&W,” from her upcoming album, Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd which is set to be released on March 24th. 

Notably, the song is over seven minutes long, and unlike most songs over three and a half minutes, this one is actually worthy of its length. Her brutally honest lyrics and melancholy voice are reminiscent of her 2019 album Norman Fucking Rockwell. Fans of Rey’s earlier hits will probably enjoy this song as well, as the latter half of the track utilizes similar sounding production to some of her more pop-centric hits that we heard in her Ultraviolence era. 

In “A&W,” Rey captures the ongoing confusion and disorganized cluster of thoughts that come from existing in a patriarchy. Her words almost resemble a descent into madness, though one that is all too common for those struggling to find a place in a world that hasn’t always been kind to them. “Yeah, I know I’m over my head but oh/ It’s not about having someone to love me anymore/ Now this is the experience of an American Whore.” According to producer Jack Antonoff, the title of the song is a reference to the lyric “American Whore”, and also a reference to the popular American fast-food chain. Subverting famous American iconography is a common theme across Rey’s work. (Her 2012 song “Cola” is a great example of this.)

One of the most powerful moments in the song arrives in the second verse, in which Rey repeats a phrase she already sung, “I mean, look at me/ Look at the length of my hair, and my face, and the shape of my body/ Do you really think I give a damn/ What I do after years of just hearing them talking” but then replaces the latter half of the lyric with “If I told you that I was raped/ Do you really think that anybody would think/ I didn’t ask for it?” With this line, Rey not only allows us to bear witness to her story, but she echoes a common fear that is held by so many gender-oppressed people, and specifically survivors of sexual assault.

With A&W, Lana Del Rey continues to prove that she is a true visionary in music. In fact, she will be given the Visionary Award at this year’s Billboard Women in Music Ceremony, which will take place on March 1st. Rey’s visionary status very much stems from her commitment to relaying her own truth and experience, whether that be in the form of a spoken word poetry album (Violet Bent Backwards over the Grass), or in a remixed club banger like “Summertime Sadness.” Lana has never shied away from expressing her truest form throughout her discography, and now that includes “A&W.”

Top Photo: Screengrab from Lana Del Rey – “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd” (Audio) on YouTube.


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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