Lana Del Rey has yet to announced the release date of her upcoming sixth studio album Norman Fucking Rockwell, but that hasn’t stopped the singer from dropping some of the best work of her career. Most recently, Del Rey unleashed the emotional gut punch of “Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it,” a song that continues the artist’s work as one of the most exciting songwriters and composers of the past decade. It’s so
Norman F-ing Rockwell good.
Writing the song with Jack Antonoff, who also produces the single and plays piano, Del Rey continues the album title’s theme of examining great Americana artists, referencing writer Sylvia Plath and photographer Slim Aarons. Del Rey sings about the pressures of presenting herself as a happy and perfectly poised artist, while internally dealing with depression, singing, “All of these debutantes / Smiling for miles in pink dresses and high heels on white yachts / But I’m not, baby, I’m not / No, I’m not, that, I’m not.”
Singing about her struggle with alcohol addiction and finding refuge in performing on stage, Del Rey references alcoholics who lived on Skid Row in the 1960s, singing “I had 15-year dances / Church basement romances / Yeah, I’ve cried / Spilling my guts with the Bowery Bums / Is the only love I’ve ever known / Except for the stage, which I also call home, when I’m not.”
The simple yet cinematic track ends with a hopeful turn, a change from Del Rey’s earlier work on albums like Born To Die and Ultraviolence.
The new track draws a number of parallels to Fiona Apple’s work, from the extended title (Apple’s 1999 album When The Pawn… holds the record for longest album title) to the poetic musings set to a haunting and ominous musical backdrop. Del Rey’s new song has a similar sound and makeup to Apple’s 2012 song “The Container,” which acts as the title them to Showtime’s The Affair.
“Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it” is the third single from Del Rey’s upcoming album. She’s previously released “Venice Bitch” and “Mariners Apartment Complex.” She’s also announced her first book of poetry, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, which is due out this year.